Karim Ansarifard was handed just three Championship starts for Nottingham Forest – no wonder he struggled to make an impact.
Karim Ansarifard scored more goals in 90 minutes for Iran than he managed in 12 games for Nottingham Forest on Thursday.
And while the opposition were hardly the most daunting, Cambodia are 169th in the FIFA World Rankings after all, we should take nothing away from the former City Ground striker as he ran riot on his 80th international appearance.
Iran put 14 past the South East Asian outfit with Ansarifard scoring four of them. He even outscored hat-trick hero Sardar Azmoun, the Zenit St Petersburg striker who has been labelled the ‘Iranian Lionel Messi’.
In fact, that four-goal haul represented the first time Ansarifard had ever scored more than two goals in a single match for his country.
There has never been any doubt about the 29-year-old’s ability to find the back of the net and why he was never really given a real chance at Nottingham Forest is anyone’s guess.
True, Lewis Grabban is the club’s number one striker and rightly so, but Ansarifard made nine of his 12 appearances off the bench with the former Olympiakos and Espanyol forward struggling to make an impact in the odd brief cameo – understandably so.
Ansarifard left Forest to join Al Sailiya in Qatar over the summer but, with only the unconvincing Rafa Mir providing competition for Grabban these days, maybe the Championship high-flyers should have done more to keep him.