Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest have confirmed they have reached agreement with Lens for promotion hero Brice Samba to join the Ligue 1 club.

The 28-year-old Congolese goalkeeper, who saved three penalties in last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final shoot-out against Sheffield United before keeping a clean sheet against Huddersfield at Wembley, has left the City Ground after three years.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Nottingham Forest have reached an agreement with RC Lens for goalkeeper Brice Samba to join the Ligue 1 club.

“Samba, 28, joined The Reds from Caen in 2019 and made 125 appearances across all competitions, including 45 games in the latest season when promotion was clinched to the Premier League via the play-offs.

“Arguably his most iconic moment in a Forest shirt came in the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final against Sheffield United, when his three saves in the penalty shoot-out helped the Reds secure a place at Wembley, where we subsequently clinched promotion against Huddersfield Town.

“Everyone at Nottingham Forest would like to wish Brice the very best in his next challenge.”

Samba will be replaced by Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, who has completed a season-long loan move to the City Ground.

(L-R) Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba, Brennan Johnson, Djed Spence and Cafu celebrate reaching the Sky Bet Championship play off final after victory over Sheffield United(L-R) Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba, Brennan Johnson, Djed Spence and Cafu celebrate reaching the Sky Bet Championship play off final after victory over Sheffield United (Mike Egerton/PA)

Taking his leave of the club in a message posted on his official Twitter account, he said: “To the fans, to my partners, my coaches, to the staff and everyone at the club.

“Anyone that I’ve met that have helped me during my time here, thank you so much. I’ll keep these memories close to my heart. I’ve never felt anything like this before. Forever Forest.”