Nottingham Forest defender Moussa Niakhate played 90 minutes for Senegal yesterday and thankfully, he’s come through unscathed. He started for Aliou Cisse’s team to make his full debut as they defeated Mozambique in a qualifier for the African Nations Cup.
Forest fans will have watched this one from behind their sofa with their hands placed across their eyes. After seven months out injured, the Reds faithful will have naturally been anxious over Niakhate starting for Senegal just days before the Wolves clash.
However, he’s come through the game unscathed and he did a good job for Senegal. Niakhate was actually born in France but switched his allegiances earlier this season to play for the African nation. Now he can tick off his full debut for them.
The 27-year-old signed for Forest during the summer transfer window. After being knocked back several times, the Reds managed to sign Niakhate for £12 million from Mainz, with the player pushing for the move to the Premier League.
After playing exceptionally well in the first two games against Newcastle and West Ham, disaster struck. Niakhate tore his hamstring badly and that put him out for seven months, with the player returning against Newcastle last time out.
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Niakhate played 90 minutes for Senegal
It’s not completely clear where Niakhate played for his country yesterday. Sofascore shows him featuring as a left-back and it’s fair to say that the stats for his performance look pretty good.
Niakhate won four of the six ground duels he contests, whilst he had a 100% record when it came to aerial duels; winning all three that he went into.
Keeping possession let him down a little bit. The Forest man lost possession 20 times and finished the game with a pass completion ratio of 57%.
Forest will just be thankful that Niakhate has come through the game unscathed. Another 90 minutes under his belt shouldn’t be undervalued and he could now be a little sharper for Forest on Saturday.