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Assombalonga in: The best combined Nottingham Forest XI from the last 5 years – Do you agree?

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Nottingham Forest’s last five seasons haven’t been the kindest to the club, but they have not been relegated and that has to be a positive.

The Reds are currently enduring their 14th straight season in the second tier of English football – you have to cast your memory back to 2008 when they were promoted from League One automatically – and in that time there have only been two Championship play-off campaigns.

The closest the Tricky Trees have got to the end of season gauntlet is in 2020, when a final day collapse against Stoke City saw Swansea City heartbreakingly overtake them into the top six.

Quiz: 30 questions about some of Nottingham Forest’s best ever players – Can you score 100% correct?

1 of 30

1) How many years did Viv Anderson spend at Nottingham Forest?

Despite their failure to return to the Premier League in recent times, there have still been some good players to pass through the City Ground – let’s look at the best combined team since 2016 and see how it comes out.

The goalkeeper debate was basically down to two with Brice Samba pipping out Costel Pantilimon, with his longevity continuing into 2021 as he’s still Forest’s first choice under Steve Cooper.

There were some quite obvious selections in defence with Matty Cash being converted from a winger to a talented right-back and sold on to Aston Villa for big money, and from the current squad Joe Worrall is another who has developed into potentially a Premier League talent.

A partner for Worrall was a toss-up between a few names but Michael Mancienne never really let Forest down and has beat the likes of Matt Mills and Tobias Figuereido into the line-up and with a lack of left-back options, Jack Robinson makes it in thanks to his season-and-a-half at the club.

Similarly to left-back, Forest haven’t really had too many strong holding midfield options so Jack Colback, who is proving his quality right now under Cooper, makes it into this team.

There are two more clear selections out wide with Ben Osborn on the left, having given six years of senior service to the club and Joe Lolley on the right, having scored 24 league goals since his arrival in 2018.

Despite only being at the City Ground for a season, Kieran Dowell’s nine goals in 2017-18 makes him one of the more creative attacking midfielders in the last five years at the club, and up-front there are two players who have been prolific.

Britt Assombalonga missed the majority of the 2015-16 season thanks to a knee injury, but he returned in 2016 with a vengeance and scored 14 times in 32 appearances, which led to him getting a £15 million move to Middlesbrough.

And partnering the DR Congo international is a man who remains a Forest player to this day in Lewis Grabban.

£6 million was a lot to spend for Forest in 2018, but since then the 33-year-old has scored 50 league goals in 128 matches, proving himself to still be a force at the age he’s now at.

Do you agree or disagree with the selections? Let us know in the comments!


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Assombalonga in: The best combined Nottingham Forest XI from the last 5 years – Do you agree?

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