Some statistics have emerged courtesy of Five Yards that highlight Brice Samba’s return to form for Nottingham Forest.
The 26-year-old stopper attracted criticism during the back end of last season and in the early stages of 2020/21 for some erratic form.
It would seem, however, as though the Congelese custodian is gaining his confidence back following a turbulent period.
Five Yards have produced a graphic showing which goalkeepers have prevented most goals in the top five European leagues and in the Championship.
Samba sits fourth in the list, with ex-Forest stopper Karl Darlow in second.
Perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of the list is that Samba lies above Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
The Slovenian international is widely regarded as one of the best in the world and has been linked to Liverpool in the past.
Samba has made 33 saves during 2020/21, preventing nearly five goals and most Forest fans must be delighted with his form.
The challenge as the season progresses will be for Samba to not be quite so busy in the Reds’ goal.
Chris Hughton has largely persisted with the same back five during his seven games in charge and that bodes well.
As the team settles they should improve their defensive solidity and that might make life easier for Samba.
What these statistics do showcase, however, is that Forest are in safe hands between the posts.
He made stunning saves against Huddersfield, Derby and recently against Coventry, with Forest claiming points in two of those contests.
What next for Samba?
The challenge for the Forest goalkeeper is to continue honing his shot-stopping skills and also improve aerially.
When Samba first arrived from Caen he was unbelievable at collecting crosses when they entered the box from wide areas.
That aspect of his game has perhaps dropped off and as a determined individual he will certainly be working on that.
His distribution has been first class on a regular basis and it’s fair to say a lot of his criticism has been unjust.
These statistics go a long way to proving as much.