Nottingham Forest signed Karim Ansarifard on a free transfer over the weekend, hours before beating Sheffield United in the Championship. The Iranian international, who boasts 18 goals in 68 games for his country, was released by Olympiacos in late-August and will provide more strength in depth to the Forest attack.
Karanka (on Karim signing): “He is a good player and another one who is a very good personality and team-mate for the changing room. He is hungry and wants to help the team. I’m pleased.” #nffc
— BBC Nottingham Sport (@BBCRNS) November 3, 2018
Aitor Karanka was delighted to procure his signature and will no doubt be hoping he can take the scoring burden of Lewis Grabban. Ansarifard often players off the shoulder of the last man and is a ruthless one-touch finisher. He isn’t the quickest of strikers but has great movement off the ball, is strong aerially and is a reliable penalty-taker.
Support from midfield will be paramount to his success at the City Ground, however, as a lot of his goals are coming inside the six-yard box. He’s a target man from crosses and will make runs in between defenders to get on the end of through ball.
Ansarifard’s career started at Saipa where he scored 22 goals in 37 games before moving to Persepolis in 2012 on a free transfer. He netted eight goals in 31 games and had a loan spell with Tractor Sazi (32 games, 15 goals) during his time at the Azadi Stadium.
A move to Spanish side CA Osasuna followed in 2014 where the centre-forward struggled for form. He failed to score in his 17 appearances and was released to Greek outfit Panionios a year later. Ansarifard had 15 goals to his name from 51 games in all competitions which was when Olympiacos came calling in 2017.
Despite a successful spell at the Karaiskakis Stadium with 22 goals in 48 matches, he was released 18 months later and is now trying his hand in England.