Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi bolstered his defensive ranks during the summer with the £1 million addition of Chema Rodriguez (Bein Sports).

The Levante defender arrived at the City Ground as a left-footed option to go alongside several players who give preferential treatment to their right foot.

As with many of Forest’s summer recruits, Rodriguez was a signing that will have caught many supporters off guard. The 27-year-old played 19 times in La Liga last season and arrived in England as something of an enigma.

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The former Atletico Madrid youngster played seven minutes in the Carabao Cup win over Derby and 90 in the 5-0 drubbing by Arsenal.

He got his first taste of Championship action on Friday night when Michael Dawson hobbled off on 34 minutes.

Rodriguez did okay against the Potters and will probably start for the first time when the Reds rock up at Blackburn.

Facing Tony Mowbray’s side could provide the defender with the ultimate Championship acid test as he potentially comes face-to-face with the reliable Danny Graham.


The experienced second-tier performer proved a handful for Forest last season. He claimed an assist in the 2-2 draw at Ewood Park and netted a crucial goal in Rovers’ 2-1 win at the City Ground.

Graham has been used sparingly this season. Now 34, he has started just twice with Sam Gallagher preferred in attack.

The veteran could earn the chance to start tonight, however, and his presence on the pitch would provide Rodriguez with a real test of his wits.

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Rovers boss Mowbray loves to play with a big striker. Whether it is Graham or Gallagher who begins in the attack, they should offer an eye-opener to the Spaniard.

Proving his worth

Both players are over six foot in height and Rodriguez will need to call upon all of his aerial presence to ensure a successful night for the Reds.

Who Scored list one of Rodriguez’s weaknesses as his ability to clear danger in the air. On the brief evidence of his first couple of appearances that doesn’t look like being the case at all.

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Against Stoke, he was up against Lee Gregory and Nick Powell. He did cope well against both of those players when it came to the aerial battles.

Tonight could be telling when it comes to Forest fans passing judgement on the ex-Levante man, however.

Both Graham and Gallagher are renowned for their aerial prowess. If Rodriguez does get the nod this evening it could provide supporters with lots of answers regarding his ability to become a success in the second tier of English football.

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