Tendayi Darikwa says Karim Ansarifard has “good qualities” and displayed great work rate in his Nottingham Forest debut. We recently profiled the Iranian international on Vital Forest, revealing Ansarifard as a striker who benefits from crosses coming into the box and through balls being played behind the defence, but he also showed on Saturday that he has a willingness to defend.
The 28-year-old was introduced in place of Lewis Grabban deep in injury time against Sheffield United and produced a brilliant piece of defending, chasing his marker down for half the length of the pitch to pull off an important tackle. Such an attitude will instantly earn him favour with the supporters and it’s certainly won him plaudits from Darikwa.
He said to Nottingham Live: “It was his first game and it shows his attitude positively. To show that work-rate and desire, as a striker, to help the team not concede a goal is important. We need everyone on board, when it comes to what we are trying to do; when it comes to being successful. That kind of defending starts at the front.
“Karim has been good, he has been training with us for a while now, while he waited for the work permit to be approved. He has got good qualities. He is quick around the box and is a good finisher. When he gets his chance in the team, he can hopefully score some goals for us.”
Ansarifard will provide a bigger threat in the final third, having scored 17 Superleague goals for Olympiacos last season, so Forest fans should be excited of what’s potentially to come from the centre-forward. Aitor Karanka now has good depth in attack, affording him the option to rest Grabban at times this season, and if the Iran striker can replicate his past form in Greece, he could be key in Forest’s push for the playoffs.