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In Focus: New Nashville signing Surridge can hit right note in Music City
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Danny Ryan
Sam Surridge has joined Nashville SC from Nottingham Forest
Sam Surridge has joined Nashville SC from Nottingham Forest

Sam Surridge has completed his move to Nashville SC for an undisclosed fee, signing an initial three-year deal with the Major Soccer League outfit.

The 24-year-old striker joined Nottingham Forest from Stoke in January 2022 but failed to secure a regular spot in manager Steve Cooper's starting XI.

Surridge made 20 Premier League appearances last season — all but one of which came off the bench — and he scored only one goal, in a 1-1 draw with his former club Bournemouth.

After swapping the Midlands for the Music City, we shine the spotlight on a forward looking to get his promising career back on track.

New chapter

While goals and starts were hard to come by for Surridge in a Forest shirt, he still posted an emotional farewell message to fans after his exit was confirmed.

The striker wrote: "I want to thank everyone associated with Nottingham Forest. Since I arrived here, I have felt nothing but serious pride in myself to play for this massive club.

"To be a part of its history on getting promoted back to the Premier League and to retain its status, it's something I could only have imagined when joining two seasons ago.

"I'd like to give a special mention to the supporters for showing me nothing but love throughout my time.

"Now it's time to move on and write a new chapter for myself. I want nothing but success for this team and supporters in the future."

Sam Surridge was unable to make an impact at Nottingham Forest last season
Sam Surridge was unable to make an impact at Nottingham Forest last season

MLS reset

The higher ranks of English football proved to be a significant challenge for Surridge at times.

In the Championship, the Slough-born striker managed just 17 goals in 86 matches, failing to reach double figures in any of his four seasons in the second tier.

However, MLS could be the perfect platform for him to find his scoring boots — as it proved to be for Bradley Wright-Phillips.

The son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright tallied only 27 goals from 145 appearances in the Championship with Southampton, Plymouth and Charlton.

But he then proceeded to light up MLS after joining New York Red Bulls in 2013 at the age of 28.

Wright-Phillips also represented Los Angeles FC and Colombus Crew, scoring 114 goals across a nine-year spell in the American division.

His success, which included two MLS Golden Boot awards, should serve as another source of motivation for Surridge as he prepares to debut for Nashville — who sit fourth in the Eastern Conference table.

Time to step up

Surridge has all the tools required to be a prolific striker in the years to come.

Nashville's new No9 stands at 6ft 3in and is a major threat in the air, while he possesses a great turn of pace for a man of his size.

The right-footed forward has also previously shown he can be clinical in front of goal when given opportunities.

At the back end of the 2021-22 season, Surridge scored six goals in eight games — including a hat-trick against Swansea — to help book Forest's place in the play-offs.

Success in MLS is, of course, not guaranteed but increased playing time in a slightly slower paced setting means it is a likely outcome.


Sam SurridgeNottingham ForestPremier LeagueNashville SCMajor League Soccer
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