Molla Wague bossed the Championship after he arrived on loan at Forest on the 1st of February.
He could be a key player next year for Martin O’Neill’s side if he signed again, but with Michael Hefele’s return from injury he may no longer be needed, and could instead make a move to Panathinaikos.
It would be a missed opportunity by the club, who kept four clean sheets with him in the side, and conceded just 12 in the 11 games he played.
It is likely that he will be moved on by Udinese this summer, having made just 41 appearances in the five years he has been contracted at the Italian club.
His contract is up at the end of the month and Forest would be making a shrewd move by adding him to their ranks, as long as his wages are feasible.
He has played top-flight football for Udinese, Granada and Watford, and as evidenced this season is more than capable in the Championship.
Here we look back at his statistics from last season to see the areas where he really impressed.
First of all, it is difficult to ignore his goalscoring record. Three goals in 11 games for a centre-half is very impressive, and shows his dominance in the air attacking balls from set-pieces.
How valuable could that be to Nottingham Forest going forward? It would provide them with an opportunity to score goals even when not playing well, and that can’t be underestimated.
In terms of defending, it is clear to see what the best aspect of Molla Wague’s game is. An average of 4.1 clearances per game and an average of 4.3 aerial duels one shows the physical prowess he has. It would be easy to label him a no-nonsense defender, but that wouldn’t give him the credit he deserves.
His passing record is testament to that. 30.5 average passes per game is impressive for a defender playing under Martin O’Neill, who isn’t exactly known for his possession-based free-flowing brand of football. It shows that the Malian international has multiple dimensions to his game, and that would serve Forest well if they signed him.
Additionally, his pass success rate is also good for a centre-back at 79.4%, but one stat he will look to improve on next season is his average tackles per game. 1.2% is not awful but Forest may need better from him if they are to make the play-offs.
It would be disappointing if Forest don’t at least attempt to sign Molla Wague. He has so much to offer in both boxes and regular game time and a settled environment will bring out the best in him.