Date: 19th February 2019 at 8:00am
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Karim Ansarifard was left out of Nottingham Forest’s matchday squad in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Preston North End, with Martin O’Neill preferring Leo Bonatini on the bench as a secondary option to Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy. Ansarifard has been used sparingly all season and won’t have enjoyed his debut campaign at the City Ground.

The 28-year-old has made only six Championship appearances for the Reds and is still waiting for his first goal since joining on a free transfer in November. Ansarifard is contracted until 2020, but it’s hard to see him staying past the summer given how Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill haven’t found a place for him in the side. He’s fourth in the pecking order and has racked up just three minutes of league football since December 2018.

He’s only made the matchday squad twice in the last two months and now has extra competition from January arrival Bonatini. Ansarifard had a good reputation upon his move to Forest, scoring 22 goals in 48 games for his former club Olympiacos, but he hasn’t managed to replicate such form in the few minutes he’s had in the Championship. It’s been a hellish debut season.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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