Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba was yesterday named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2019/20 campaign.
The Congolese stopper capped a fine maiden season in English football by being named in the team as voted for by his fellow professionals.
Samba checked in at the City Ground for £1.8 million from French outfit Caen last summer.
Initially expected to act as a backup to on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, the 26-year-old quickly established himself as first-choice.
Samba kept goal in 43 games for the Reds in all competitions, keeping 16 clean sheets for Sabri Lamouchi’s team.
He was the only Forest player to get in the Team of the Year, with Champions Leeds United, Brentford, QPR, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham also having representatives.
Following his accolade, Samba tweeted that he was delighted to be named and hinted that he hoped to kick on this season.
Very honored to be part of this team for my very first season in England 🙌🏾 we go for more 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/L3CxgklmbH
— Brice Samba (@samba_brice) September 8, 2020
Samba was certainly one of the surprise packages of the campaign from a Forest perspective.
As with any foreign import that checks in at the City Ground, his arrival was met with an element of uncertainty.
Within a matter of matches, however, it came became apparent that Samba was capable of cutting it in the Championship.
Early doors he looked quick along his line, a solid shot-stopper and also proved a master of the dark arts when it came to seeing games through.
It’s fair to say that Samba’s form wasn’t quite as stunning after the restart, although that could have been due to an injury he was carrying.
The custodian didn’t seem as his very best for the last nine games of the season, keeping just one clean sheet during those fixtures.
Nonetheless, his injury now looks to have cleared up and Samba will look to get back on track this season.
Forest will want to put last season’s misery behind them and the uncompromising performer will once again prove integral to the Reds’ fortunes.