Why Diafra Sakho could be a real coup for Nottingham Forest

According to The Sun (h/t Nottinghamshire Live), Nottingham Forest are weighing up a move for free agent striker Diafra Sakho during the January transfer window to bolster their surge for promotion in the Championship. 

The 30-year-old spent the previous campaign on loan at Turkish side Bursaspor from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes, where he worked with current Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi for a short while. 

Sakho, who previously scored 24 goals in 71 appearances for West Ham before departing to join Rennes back in January 2018, is currently a free agent in the market after being released six months early from his contract by the French top-flight club. 

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Diafra Sakho previously scored 24 goals in 71 appearances for West Ham (Getty Images)

As per the report, Lamouchi has highlighted the need for some quality acquisitions during the mid-season trading window to enhance the club’s chances of staking a claim for a top-six finish, with a new striker expected to be high on the manager’s wishlist. 

Sakho scored only thrice in 16 appearances over the course of an ill-fated stint at Rennes while his loan spell at Bursaspor in Turkey last season also yielded just three goals in 20 appearances. 

Despite the 14-cap Senegalese international’s stocks being on the decline ever since his departure from West Ham, Nottingham Forest are .prepared to offer him a golden chance to make a return to English football. 

Meanwhile, Forest crashed out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, with Lamouchi opting to hand some of the fringe players in the squad a chance to prove their mettle. Highly-rated teenager Alex Mighten was amongst those to have impressed in what was otherwise a lacklustre team performance at Stamford Bridge. 

The two-time European champions endured a rather lean patch early in December but they have recovered from the blip to win each of their last three league fixtures against Hull City, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, climbing up to 4th in the standings as a result of their impressive resurgence. 

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Sakho worked with Sabri Lamouchi at Rennes following his departure from West Ham (Getty Images)

However, the race for the playoffs still remains open. With plenty of teams still in contention for a top-six finish, Lamouchi will surely be aware of the fact that things can easily go either way for Forest in the coming months, despite an impressive first half of the season. 

A tally of 34 goals scored and 25 conceded in 25 games so far makes for some impressive readings on paper but, as a matter of fact, Forest have been comfortably outscored by several of their playoff rivals, which is definitely a cause of concern for the manager moving forward. 

Lewis Grabban has reiterated his worth as one of the most devastating strikers in the Championship, scoring 14 goals in 25 appearances to spearhead Forest’s surge for promotion but the Reds currently do not have much depth in their options up top. 

With Wolves loanee, Rafa Mir, expected to return to his parent club after failing to make an impact at the City Ground (h/t Nottinghamshire Live) and Welsh starlet Brennan Johnson still an unproven prospect at this level, Forest are crying out for some additional cover in front of goal. 

Verdict

To put things into perspective, Diafra Sakho has somewhat faded into oblivion in recent times but his proven track record in English football still makes him worth a punt for Nottingham Forest.

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Sakho is currently a free agent in the market following his release from Rennes (Getty Images)

Add to that the 30-year-old’s previous experience of working under Lamouchi and it is easy to see why the Senegalese international could come through the door at the City Ground in January and possibly start making an immediate impact. 

Sakho might have struggled to make an impact since his departure from West Ham, but at 30, he still has considerable time left on his side to resurrect his career. The Senegalese hitman’s stocks have certainly plummeted in recent times but his obvious quality as a striker can hardly be played down. 

Plus, his availability as a free agent in the market should make things a lot easier for Forest, given that it mitigates the risk factor of the move backfiring. 

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Having said that, Diafra Sakho certainly looks like a risk worth taking for Nottingham Forest and the 30-year-old’s reunion with Lamouchi at the City Ground could well work wonders for the Reds in their push for promotion.