No player in the Championship has registered more assists than Nottingham Forest winger Joe Lolley so far this season.
He picked up two assists in the win against Swansea City last weekend, which took his tally for the season to 11.
The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the most dangerous players in the division. It’s surprising that he didn’t secure a place in the Championship’s Team of the Season.
There are three other Championship wingers who have also registered 11 assists this season. Said Benrahma, Pablo Hernández and Kamil Grosicki of Brentford, Leeds United and Hull City respectively, are all currently level with Lolley.
Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane and Birmingham City striker Lukas Jutkiewicz have also both reached double figures.
There’s no doubt that all of the above are quality players. But Lolley has also added goals to his game this season. The winger has found the back of the net eight times.
This means that he has been directly involved in 19 goals this season. It’s fair to say that the Reds wouldn’t be anywhere near the play-offs if it wasn’t for his contribution.
If it wasn’t for a dip in form around the time of Aitor Karanka’s departure, it would’ve been a perfect season for the winger. But for the majority of the season, his performances have been largely consistent.
This is something that can’t be said for his side as a whole. The Reds still haven’t won back-to-back games since September, something regularly mentioned by Martin O’Neill.
There will be many people on Trentside who will be sweating over the summer, concerned about whether Lolley might be snapped up by a Premier League club. This is despite the fact he signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract under two months ago.
Of course, the Reds could still secure promotion to the top flight themselves this season. There would be no better way of fending off inevitable interest in the winger.
Speaking on the race for the top six this week, Lolley told the Nottingham Post: “If we can get into the play-offs at the end of the season, it would be perfect.
“I don’t want to stand here and say we are going to be flying now, because we have not been consistent enough this season.
“We have not shown that we can put back-to-back wins together, that is our big thing. We need to go to Rotherham now and back this up.”