Love him or loathe him, it’s hard to ignore the impact Lewis Grabban has made since joining Nottingham Forest from AFC Bournemouth in 2018.
Aitor Karanka made it very clear how much he wanted to bring the prolific forward to the City Ground, as he looked to reshape his squad ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Forest made a statement of intent, paying £6million for the striker who had just scored 20 goals across 38 appearances in 2017/18 during loan spells at Sunderland and Aston Villa.
Fast forward nearly three years, and although Forest still find themselves looking to escape the clutches of the Championship, it’s hard to argue against it being money well spent.
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Nottingham Forest players ever score a goal at the City Ground?
Grabban scored 17 goals in 41 appearances in his first season at the City Ground – a campaign which ultimately fizzled out under Martin O’Neill following the controversial departure of Aitor Karanka in January.
In came Sabri Lamouchi, and Grabban went one further. He became the first player since 2003 to reach the 20-goal mark, spearheading Forest to what looked to be a top-six finish, before inexplicably missing out on the final day of the season.
The hangover of missing out of the play-offs has been there for all to see this season. Forest are struggling towards the wrong end of the Championship table, with Chris Hughton having to pick up the pieces.
Grabban has scored three goals in 17 appearances for the Reds this term, spending a number of weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury. He will be hoping, though, that his goal against Coventry in midweek, which helped spark a comeback and ignite a 2-1 away win, can be the start of a revival for not only Forest, but for himself too.
Did you know these three things about Grabban?
We’ve already established that Grabban is a proven goalscorer at Championship level, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the 33-year-old on the goal front.
He came through the ranks at Crystal Palace and was in and around the first-team between 2005 and 2008, getting used to a few substitute cameos here and there.
Loan moves to Oldham Athletic and then Motherwell materialised, but Grabban was unable to make an impact.
Subsequently, in his first three seasons in professional football, he managed to find the net only once.
Grabban, despite being born in Croydon, opted to pledge his international allegiance to Jamaica in 2014, having been called up to the squad by Winfried Schafer.
The striker was unable to feature due to passport issues, though, and after being called up to play in friendlies against Venezuela and Cuba, he failed to make an appearance. He is still awaiting his first international cap.
Finally, reflecting on his time at Norwich City, Grabban was the centre of controversy in 2015.
The striker, who was the subject of interest from AFC Bournemouth at the time, was left unhappy as the club rejected numerous bids from the Cherries.
Grabban, then, stormed out of the team hotel before a League Cup clash with Rotherham United, having been named on the bench. He ended up apologising to fans and was briefly suspended by the club, before joining Bournemouth in January.