One to Watch - Britt Assombalonga
Name: Name: Britt Assombalonga
Date of Birth:: 06/12/1992
Previous Clubs:: Watford; Wealdstone (L), Braintree (L); Southend (L); Peterborough.
Appearances (goals):: 180 (82)
With two games of the season remaining, like QPR, this weekend`s opponents Nottingham Forest will have one eye over their shoulder as Mark Warburton`s men sit just three points above the relegation places, but they head to Loftus Road on the back of a morale-boosting 3-2 victory at home to high-flying Reading last weekend.
The opening two goals of the game were scored by striker Britt Assombalonga, taking his tally in the league to 12 for the season from 30 Championship matches, a decent return for the 24-year old playing in a struggling Forest side, also considering the fact he returned at the back end of last season after a year out through injury.
His career, which was on an upward trajectory, was halted in February 2015 when he was stretchered off in a league match for the Reds against Wigan in which he went down in pain after a shot on goal, resulting in knee surgery that kept him out for the remainder of the season, and almost the entirety of the following campaign.
It was a bitter blow for Forest`s record £5.5million signing during what was his first season at the City Ground after his move from League One side Peterborough, especially after he had made a flying start to life at the club, as he found the net 15 times in the league to lead the side`s goalscoring charts prior to his injury.
He had started his career with Watford, where he was sent out on loan to non-league sides Wealdstone and Braintree Town before making his debut for the Hornets in March 2012, when he was selected from the start in a Championship match at home to Coventry, and he made four appearances before the end of that season.
Another loan move came about for the 2012/2013 season as he joined Southend, then in League Two, where he really began to demonstrate his prowess infront of goal, notching five goals in his first six league games for the Shrimpers, going on to score 16 goals in 49 outings in all competitions during his spell at Roots Hall.
Upon his return to the Hornets that summer, he was sold to League One side Peterborough, who paid a six-figure sum for his services on a four-year deal, a fee that was undisclosed but broke their previous transfer record, and he took the step up in quality in his stride, once again making an impressive start at his new club.
He scored nine minutes into his debut to secure all three points on the opening day, and notched eight goals in his first seven league matches, going on to score 33 times in 58 games in all competitions to finish as the club`s top scorer, playing a key part in their top six finish, which led to a play-off semi-final tie against Leyton Orient.
Assombalonga bagged the opener in the first leg at home, which ended in a 1-1 draw, before the O`s emerged 2-1 victors at Brisbane Road in the second leg to progress to the final at Wembley, but his prolific goalscoring form saw him named in the PFA League One Team of the Year, courting interest from higher up the chain.
After just one season with the Posh, he moved up to the Championship by signing a five-year deal with Forest three days before the start of the 2014/2015 season, and again the step up in division didn`t faze him, before his knee injury brought his first season at the club to a premature end and a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
He made his return to action in April last year, coming on for the final few minutes of a league match against Blackburn, and was back amongst the goals on his fourth match back, netting the winner in a 2-1 victory at MK Dons on the final day of last term, and started this campaign with a bang, scoring three in his first three games.
Unfortunately for both the club and player, injury struck again at the end of August, once again against Wigan, as he had to come off 15 minutes into their home fixture against the Latics, and it was two months later before his return to action, since which his goals have secured some vital points to keep Forest out of the dropzone.