Sammy Ameobi is a towering presence in the Nottingham Forest side, but is he throwing his weight around enough?

At over six feet four inches tall, an enigmatic presence is an obvious focal point for the Reds.

For a trip to Wigan on Sunday, Sabri Lamouchi opted to deploy Ameobi off Rafa Mir.

Neither of those supposed to be provide a cutting edge delivered on their remit.

And it has to be said that Ameobi may be on borrowed time.

He impressed out of the blocks in 2019-20, with a positive first impression made following his arrival as a free agent.

The 27-year-old was deployed off the bench against West Brom and Leeds, and looked lively.

Lamouchi was impressed enough to hand the former Newcastle winger a starting berth.

Consistency

(Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Said shirt has been retained despite struggles for consistency and alternatives being available.

Ameobi is most comfortable on the flanks, with his quick feet allowing him to get at opponents and force them onto the back foot.

His presence in the final third also offers Forest a potential out ball through the air.

Or so you would think.

In reality, a giant of a man has been cut down to size.

No player on the books at the City Ground has been involved in more aerial battles than Ameobi this season.

Of the 51 he has engaged in, only 26 have seen him emerge victorious.

Dominant

 

At times he will, of course, find himself up against centre-halves, whose job it is to deal with any balls fired in their direction.

A lot of the time, though, Ameobi is struggling to hold his own in areas where he needs to be more dominant.

To put his numbers into some kind of perspective, he can be compared with other ‘big lads’ at Forest.

Joe Worrall has only lost 12 of 46 aerial duels, Michael Dawson 19 of 46, Alfa Semedo 12 of 28, Samba Sow 12 of 22 and Tobias Figueiredo four of 16.

Even Matty Cash, who is hardly renowned for his physicality, has triumphed in 17 of 26 tussles.

Ameobi can point to the fact that he is not your archetypal ‘targetman’ in the Peter Crouch mould.

He is, however, being used as an aerial threat for the Reds.

If that is to remain the case, and his place in the side is to be retained, then more is required of him when it comes to winning and retaining possession – both on the deck and in the air.

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