Hands up in the East Midlands if you had heard of Samba this time last year?
The Congolese shot-stopper was pretty much an unknown quantity when he was unveiled at the City Ground over the summer, completing a £1.9 million move from Ligue 1 side Caen.
But, in no time at all, Samba has established himself not only as Nottingham Forest’s undisputed number one but arguably the Championship’s most impressive goalkeeper.
The 25-year-old has conceded less than a goal-a-game on average in the East Midlands and showcased his feline reflexes once again to dramatically claw a Liam Cooper header off the goal line as Sabri Lamouchi’s side closed to within one point of Leeds with a well-earned victory over Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Saturday.
“This was a great double save, a reaction save. They are the saves that change games. He’s been absolutely outstanding for Forest this year,” Pulis said, before hailing the way Lamouchi set up his team to stop Leeds from clicking into gear.
“He set the team up very well to play against Leeds. He kept everybody nice and right, there was no space between the gaps. It was a very well drilled and well organised Nottingham Forest team.”
It is the spine of this Forest side who have made promotion a genuine possibility. With Samba between the sticks and Lewis Grabban scoring goals at a reliable rate at the other end, Lamouchi has two of the league’s most potent talents in attack and defence.
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