Why Nottingham Forest must snap up Karim Ansarifard
Iranian centre-forward Karim Ansarifard has dropped a huge hint suggesting he could join EFL Championship outfit Nottingham Forest (h/t Nottingham Post).
The 28-year-old striker, who is a free agent after being released by Greek outfit Olympiacos, recently seemed to confirm his move to England in an interview.
“I know that I have a difficult task ahead since Nottingham Forest are among the best teams in Championship but I will do my best and I’m happy and I hope to help the team to achieve our goals,” he told the Tehran Times newspaper, as quoted by Nottingham Post.
“I think so many football players dream of playing in England.”
Nottingham Forest haven’t made the best start to the new season and find themselves in the 15th spot, with just a solitary win in seven matches (5D, 1L). Karanka made as many as 16 signings over the past couple of months but that hasn’t translated into performances on the field. The former Middlesbrough boss must get things back on track at the earliest.
The centre-forward department was strengthened in the summer by signing Lewis Grabban, who was one of the top scorers in the second tier last season. However, going into the season with just the former Bournemouth man and an ageing Daryl Murphy has left them exposed. Murphy, 35, missed last weekend’s game against Swansea City with an injury as the match ended in a goalless draw.
As things stand, a new centre-forward would come as a great boost for the Reds. And Ansarifard could prove to be a useful addition to the squad.
The 28-year-old is a vastly experienced operator, having served spells with the likes of Osasuna, Panionios Athens and Olympiacos during his professional career. The marksman spent the last eighteen months with Olympiacos, scoring 22 goals and providing 8 assists in 48 appearances.
Ansarifard is a regular for the Iranian national team as well and has 68 international caps to his name, finding the back of the net on 18 occasions. The striker was part of the 23-man squad that travelled to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In fact, he scored a goal in the 1-1 draw against Portugal.
The 28-year-old is quite similar to Iranian legend Ali Daei in terms of playing style. Standing at 183cm, Ansarifard offers a physical presence in the box and is strong in the air, while being equally good on the ground. Since he has often played on the right flank in the early parts of his career, the striker offers added options in the final third.
With his experience and proven goalscoring abilities, the Iranian international will add more depth to the attacking contingent at Forest and should help them improve their tepid start to the ongoing campaign.