Nottingham Forest defeated Brentford 1-0 at the City Ground on Saturday to go into the second international break of the campaign in an automatic promotion place in the Championship.

The Reds beat the Bees thanks to a second-half strike from Ben Watson who was desperately impressive throughout the contest.

Boss Sabri Lamouchi made a change at the back, with Chema Rodriguez coming into the side at the expense of Tobias Figueiredo. The defender wasn’t in the team at Blackburn on Tuesday, despite coming onto replace Michael Dawson at Stoke.

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rodriguez was signed from Levante in the summer to provide Forest with a natural left-footer at centre-back. It is early days for the Spaniard but already his fee of £1 million (Bein Sports) looks like a genuinely good piece of business by the Reds.

A couple of videos have emerged from the weekend which highlights exactly what Forest fans can expect from their new man-mountain central defender.

One shows that he is unbelievably strong in the tackle. During a second-half battle with Ollie Watkins, he put in a crunching sliding challenge to regain possession for Forest and set then back in pursuit of a goal:

It’s not really surprising that a central defender is particularly good in the tackle – especially one from a physically strong league such as La Liga in Spain.

One aspect that will delight the club’s supporters is how calm and composed Rodriguez looked when it came to playing the ball out from the back.

Modern-day central defender

Another piece of footage shows the 27-year-old pinging a perfectly weighted long ball delightfully into the path of Lewis Grabban. It is perhaps this aspect that will please supporters the most. It certainly offers hope that he can become a natural replacement for Dawson when he inevitably retires in the near future:

Of course, it is early days for Rodriguez and he will perhaps need to prove himself against better sides in the division than Brentford.

The early prognosis of his arrival is positive though and he looks like a player who can comfortably slot into the back four when required to do so.

 

If 35-year-old Dawson is fit for the trip to Wigan following the international break then he will probably replace Rodriguez in the team.

The four-cap England international won’t be around forever, however, and having strength in depth ahead of future endeavours can only bode well for Lamouchi and for Forest.

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