Lewis Grabban gave Nottingham Forest fans a timely reminder of the importance he brings as the Reds won 3-1 at Barnsley last night.
Grabban has struggled to kick on after scoring 20 goals in the 2019/20 season for Forest, scoring only six goals and struggling with injuries in a disappointing campaign last term.
Last night was a positive one, however, as Steve Cooper claimed his first win in charge of the Reds with an impressive win at Oakwell.
Grabban’s introduction on the hour mark galvanised Forest. His first touch of the ball saw him play in Brennan Johnson, who squared it for Philip Zinckernagel to roll into an empty net.
After Johnson had made it 2-1, Grabban secured the three points with a trademark goal late on. Alex Mighten danced his way into the area, pulling the ball across to the far post for the veteran striker to tap in at the far post.
Grabban has now scored three goals in his last five games, and at this rate, he looks set to be a key player under Cooper going forward.
Come the end of the season, what impact may that have?
What do we know so far?
Grabban penned a four-year deal at the City Ground when he arrived from AFC Bournemouth for £6million in 2018, and is now in the final year of his contract.
The striker was heavily linked with a move away last season, with Sabri Lamouchi looking to lure him to Qatari side Al-Duhail.
Grabban has scored 46 goals across 125 appearances for the Reds, and last night showed that he still possesses the predatory instincts which made him such a hit on Trentside initially.
Is a new contract likely to happen?
This is something which largely depends on how Grabban performs throughout the season – after all, Cooper is only two games into his tenure.
Dane Murphy is keen to freshen things up on Trentside, and is looking to embed a philosophy which sees Forest sign players under 26 in an attempt to lower the age of the squad.
With Grabban approaching the age of 34, he doesn’t fit into the bracket of a young asset who is one for the long-term.
On a free transfer, however, he would be an attractive proposition for some clubs if the opportunity arose, but with Lamouchi no longer in place over in Qatar, it is unlikely that he will head there.
The early signs under Cooper are positive, though, and if Grabban continues to make the impact Forest fans know he can make, he will certainly give the club a decision to ponder over.