Nottingham Forest promotion hero Brice Samba did something absolutely brilliant playing for Lens last night. The Ligue 1 outfit drew 1-1 with Lille and Samba was inspired between the posts.
Samba became a cult hero during his time playing for Forest. Although he was a sound goalkeeper, he perhaps became more symbolic with his ability to be a master of the dark arts.
In last season’s play-off semi-final second-leg against he was sublime. Samba made two good saves against Sheffield United and then saved three penalties during the shootout as Forest reached Wembley.
Shortly after winning promotion, however, Samba made the decision to leave. It was a decision that came out of the blue, with the stopper holding a desire to return to France.
Lens have started to perform really well since Samba became the number-one goalkeeper. They are third in the league and are firmly in the mix for a Champions League place.
The 28-year-old signed for Forest in 2019. He was expected to be the team’s backup goalkeeper but some poor form from Arijanet Muric ensured he was quickly promoted up the pecking order.
Samba made 133 appearances for the Reds. Looking back, it’s a huge shame that he never got the chance to play for the club in the Premier League; although Samba had his heart set on other ambitions.
Samba did something absolutely brilliant for Lens
This was perhaps a game that Lens would have fancied winning last night. Thanks to Samba they managed to claim a point from the contest, as they would have lost without him.
The experienced goalkeeper made no fewer than five saves from inside the box to deny Lille. His saves were inspired and for Forest fans, they brought back memories from the years gone by.
Samba has been outstanding all season. This was perhaps his defining moment for Lens, however, and now there is talk of the stopper earning a call-up to possibly play for France.
Forest fans will wish Samba well. Last night he was inspired and it’s clear that the player has firmly kicked on after leaving the City Ground.