Samba Sow cost Nottingham Forest just £640,000 in the summer of 2019 – just let that sink in for a minute.

That was the asking price quoted in the Post for the Malian midfielder at the time of his arrival.

At that point, few knew what to expect from the former Dynamo Moscow man.

An unknown quantity has become a talismanic presence.

Forest have suffered just one defeat in the 15 games Sow has graced this season.

With that solitary setback coming at Huddersfield when the 30-year-old made his return from injury.

When fit and firing, there are few better in the Championship.

Said point was highlighted during Sunday’s 3-1 win over Luton.

Sow was everywhere.

If there was a fire to put out, he was first on the scene.

Tackles fly in, bursts through the middle of the park are made and cards are collected on a regular basis.

Devastating

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

Sow has become a devastating wrecking ball painted in Garibaldi red.

At times, he can appear to go actively seeking confrontation.

When opponents take possession, it is his job to close down and get a foot in.

Rules can be bent at times, with considerable weight thrown around in the heat of battle.

When Sow gets his own foot on the ball, his first movement is often towards a rival.

He almost dares those in front of him to come and take him on.

‘You want the ball? Come and get it!’

An experienced performer is, of course, more than capable of keeping things simple as well.

Ticking the Reds over in the middle of the park is his bread and butter.

With Ben Watson either alongside him or just behind, brute force lies at Forest’s heart.

Challenges

 

Sow epitomises that.

Watson and all-action right-back Matty Cash are the only players to have entered into more challenges for Forest this season.

Sow has, however, won as many as his midfield partner in crime.

And he has taken in considerably fewer minutes – just 1,029 in total.

When the playing field is levelled, with numbers averaged out over the course of any given outing, Sow takes to the top of the charts.

He averages more tackles per game (4.37), wins more (3.24), and emerges successful in more duels (8.66) than any other Reds player this term.

His value to the cause is without question.

Keeping him fit, and clear of suspension, is the priority from this point.

Sow can be relied upon to keep doing his bit whenever he is required.

And will continue to make his asking price look like an even greater bargain with each passing performance.

To have secured his services for six figures is remarkable – almost a tenth of what it cost to land another prized asset in 15-goal top marksman Lewis Grabban!

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