Samba Sow has made quite the impact at Nottingham Forest, with the numbers being posted by the midfielder making it easy to see why he has become so popular.
Few will have known what to expect of the Malian when he arrived at the City Ground last summer.
He did start his career in France with Lens, but the six years prior to his signing for Forest were spent in Turkey and Russia.
If you are well-versed on goings on in those divisions, then fair play to you!
For the rest of us, another addition was made to the ‘unknown quantity’ bracket.
A standing which placed Sow alongside the likes of Sabri Lamouchi, Brice Samba and Chema Rodriguez.
Not bad company to be in!
Some serious value has been found there, on and off the pitch.
To the point that new cult heroes aplenty are being embraced on the banks of the Trent.
Sow slips seamlessly into that category.
In a matter of months, the commanding 30-year-old has become a talismanic presence.
Forest are a markedly different side with Sow in their ranks.
The numbers being posted in 2019-20 highlight as much, with the Reds twice as good when Sow figures prominently.
Of the 26 Championship fixtures taken in by Lamouchi’s side this season, Sow has graced half of them.
From said outings, eight victories have been collected.
There have also been four draws and only one defeat.
Even that solitary setback, which came away at Huddersfield, can be countered by the fact that Sow only played 68 minutes in what was his first game back from a two-month spell out injured.
On the other side of the coin, Forest have won just four times without Sow.
A further four stalemates have been taken in, along with five defeats.
The Reds average more goals for (1.6 to 1.1) and concede less (0.8 to 1.2) with Sow in the engine room.
Average points per game with the all-action midfielder involved stand at a rather impressive 2.2, compared to 1.2 without him.
Few players can claim to be as important to the cause.
Or to have made quite such an immediate impression.
The hope is that Sow will continue to take his game to even greater heights in the weeks and months to come.
While steering clear of another spell on the sidelines.
He does have a penchant for collecting yellow cards – having been booked six times so far – with his game all about playing on the edge.
The boundaries of acceptable behaviour can be blurred at times, but to ask anything else of Sow would be take away from what he brings to the cause.
Lamouchi’s best approach is to continue just letting him off the leash.
If Sow is able to maintain the standards he has set so far, with others chipping in around him, then Forest shouldn’t be too far off come the final reckoning in May.