Nottingham Forest dipping into the French league to get this 8-goal starlet would be a coup

Why Nottingham Forest should move for Ibrahim Sissoko in January

According to claims from French media outlet Foot Mercato via Sport Witness, as relayed by the Nottinghamshire Live, Nottingham Forest have been credited with an interest in striker Ibrahim Sissoko, who currently plies his trade with FC Chamois Niort in the French second-tier.

Leeds United have also been named among the potential suitors for the 24-year-old, who has caught the eye of several clubs with his rich vein of form in Ligue 2 this term. (Foot Mercato via Sport Witness h/t Nottinghamshire Live)
The Frenchman becomes the latest striker to be linked with a move to the City Ground ahead of the mid-season trading period in January, with manager Sabri Lamouchi’s willingness to bolster his attack with in a new centre-forward in the upcoming transfer window well-documented. 

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Ibrahim Sissoko has emerged as a target for Nottingham Forest and Leeds United ahead of January (Getty Images)

Newcastle United hitman Dwight Gayle, Guillaume Hoarau, as well as forgotten Crystal Palace man Connor Wickham, have emerged as potential targets for the two-time European champions in recent weeks and now Sissoko has also joined the list. 

Born in Creteil, a suburb of Paris, to parents of Malian descent, Ibrahim Sissoko rose through the youth ranks of fourth-tier side L’Entente SSG and impressed in the Championat National before going on to feature for the likes of Epinal and Beziers.

Sissoko won promotion to the French second-tier with Beziers in 2017-18, bagging 8 goals and 3 assists in 24 appearances in the process. That paved the way for a move to promotion-chasers Lorient midway through the following campaign but a lack of game time forced him to return to his former club on loan.

The 24-year-old moved on to join Niort in Ligue 2 this past summer and he appears to have settled down well at the Stade Rene Gaillard, scoring 8 goals and setting up another in 14 league appearances till date. 

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Sissoko has bagged 8 goals in 14 appearances for Niort in Ligue 2 this term (Getty Images)

To put thigs into perspective, Nottingham Forest certainly need a new striker to provide cover and competition for first-choice Lewis Grabban and Ibrahim Sissoko looks like a decent option for the Reds given his recent impressive run of form in Ligue 2. 

The French second-tier has proven itself to be a rich source of burgeoning young talents for the English clubs, considering the fact that the likes of Said Benrahma, Riyad Mahrez, Matteo Guendouzi and N’Golo Kante all graced that level before eventually making the step to the Premier League or the EFL Championship.

To that end, Ibrahim Sissoko has only just established himself as a force to reckon with in Ligue 2 but Forest’s links with the 24-year-old mean that they could well be on their way to uncovering yet another hidden gem from that league.

Forest missed a golden opportunity to close the gap on the automatic promotion spots after being held to a 2-2 draw away at Millwall, before following that up with a draw against Middlesbrough last night.

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Ibrahim Sissoko has featured for several lower-division clubs in France so far in his career (Getty Images)

Lamouchi made radical changes to his starting eleven for the game against Millwall, including a change in formation to a back-three that saw Sammy Ameobi and Wolves loanee Rafa Mir start up top in place of Grabban.

However, the Reds’ lack of goalscoring pedigree beyond Grabban was once again on display, as Mir and Ameobi both failed to make much of an impact in the first-half before Lamouchi was forced to introduce Grabban after the interval. 

The 31-year-old took his goal tally for the season up to 10 in the Championship with a well-taken brace, giving Forest the lead in the 88th minute before an injury-time equaliser from Aiden O’Brien denied Lamouchi’s side the chance to move further up the table.

Hence, the latest 2-2 draw at The Den comes as yet another reminder that Forest desperately need to add some much-needed depth to their striking options, bearing in mind that an injury to Grabban during the second half of the campaign could prove to be detrimental to their hopes of making a dream return to the Premier League after more than two decades.

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Forest raided the French market this past summer to bring in current No.1 Brice Samba (Getty Images)

Verdict

Sissoko’s lack of previous experience in England makes him a gamble for Forest but he could well solve a nagging issue for the Reds if he manages to make an immediate impact by replicating his goalscoring form in the Championship.

It is worth a reminder that Lamouchi has got a good knowledge of the French market and the likes of Samba Sow and Brice Samba also came through the door at the City Ground as little-known prospects this past summer before establishing themselves as first-team mainstays.

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All in all, Ibrahim Sissoko looks like a risk worth taking for Nottingham Forest in January.

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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