Lewis Grabban is a striker, and strikers feed off goals.

That is, after all, their job.

Frontmen are paid the big bucks and go for even bigger in the transfer market because they possess the most sought-after quality in football.

The ability to hit the back of the net.

Grabban has, over the course of a distinguished career, proven himself to be more than capable in that department.

Nottingham Forest bought into that ability to the tune of some £6 million.

A 17-goal return in his debut campaign was a more than useful first instalment in his bid to offer a return on the investment made in him.

The challenge, though, is to go even higher.

Strikers have forever been judged on the 20-goal mark.

Well, at least they were before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo set about ripping up the rulebook.

Benchmark

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

For most of those without five Ballons d’Or to their name, 20 is still the benchmark.

It will be for Grabban this season.

As it has been for many before him.

The vast majority of those to have filled a striking berth at the City Ground immediately prior to the Reds’ No. 7 have failed to hit the mark.

Not since 2002-03 has somebody/anybody got to 20 goals in a single campaign for Forest.

Back then, two forwards did it in the form of David Johnson (29) and Marlon Harewood (21).

In the barren spell between then and now, Grant Holt managed 18 for a League One version of the Reds in 2006-07.

And before Grabban got to 17, Robert Earnshaw achieved that figure on two occasions in successive seasons.

As we approach the 17-year mark since someone reached 20, you get the feeling that Forest have found the perfect candidate.

Grabban may not be to everyone’s taste – mentioning no names of past heroes – but there can be no doubting his ability to put the ball in the onion bag.

He is fully aware of what is expected of him and believes he would have already ended this debate were it not for a niggling Achilles problem.

“With regards to last season, if I’d stayed fit then hopefully I’d have been able to get those 20 goals,” Grabban has said in the Nottingham Post.

“I was on track, but this is a whole different season. I’ll just look to score as many as possible, like I always do.”

Grabban’s cause in 2019-20 is being aided by a lack of competition.

No firepower, outside of loanee Rafa Mir, was acquired in the summer transfer window, leaving Forest a little short on options.

Flurries

 

Not that Grabban considers that to be an issue.

He added: “It doesn’t matter if you have 10 strikers in the squad. Not everyone can play at once, so if you are starting you’ve got to do what you have to do to score.

“That doesn’t change if you have one striker on the bench or six. I’ve got to do my job.”

He does, and has been doing.

After stumbling out of the blocks alongside many of his team-mates, Grabban has netted in each of his last two appearances.

He is a goal-getter with history when it comes to scoring in flurries.

Here’s hoping his current purple patch stretches out for many weeks to come.

If it does, then there is every reason to believe that the 20-goal monkey can finally be shaken from Forest’s back.

Grabban had 15 efforts by Christmas last season.

If he can replicate that return 12 months on, or get somewhere close to it, then his name can be etched alongside the likes of Johnson, Stan Collymore, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Teddy Sheringham and Nigel Clough in City Ground folklore.