Football Features

Every Nottingham Forest summer signing so far as Premier League new boys look to avoid ‘doing a Fulham’

By Harry Edwards

Published: 8:30, 22 July 2022 | Updated: 13:06, 25 July 2022

Nottingham Forest are back in the Premier League after a 23-year absence and they’re not planning on a brief stay.

The Reds’ promotion via the play-offs, beating Huddersfield Town at Wembley, feels like it was a long time coming and they’re wasting little time in ensuring their squad is Premier League ready. Steve Cooper’s side have made a massive TWELVE new signings so far in the summer transfer window, strengthening across the pitch.

Of course, we’ve seen this before. When Fulham were promoted from the Championship ahead of the 2018/19 season, the Cottagers spent £100m in the summer window, which ultimately ended in relegation at the end of the campaign.

Something feels different about Forest’s window, though. The moves feel like there is more planning and thought behind them, with each transfer being made for a reason regardless of the price paid. So who have Forest brought in so far? Let’s take a look.

Find the latest Premier League relegation odds for the 2022/2023 season here:

Club Chance Paddy Power Sky Bet
Nottingham Forest  54.17% 4/9 4/7
Bournemouth 33.46% 4/9 4/6
Wolves 65.62% 10/11 10/11
Southampton 55.19% 9/5 13/8
Everton 30.40% 2/1 7/4
Leeds 25.85% 16/5 4/1
Leicester 2.30% 9/1 9/1
Probability % provided by Opta StatsPerform
You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (19:30, 13/11/2022). BeGambleAware.

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Jesse Lingard

From: Manchester United

Fee: Free

Perhaps Forest’s most high-profile arrival in this window. the former Manchester United midfielder ended his 22-year association with the Red Devils when his contract expired at Old Trafford last month.

Lingard racked up 232 senior appearances during his time with the club, scoring 35 goals, but started just two Premier League games last season.

The England international will be seeking regular game time at the City Ground to enable him to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans ahead of the World Cup later this year.

Taiwo Awoniyi

From: Union Berlin

Fee: £17m

Nottingham Forest weren’t exactly lacking goals in the Championship last season, with only Bournemouth and Fulham scoring more than their 73, but they felt the need to add to their attack and break the club’s transfer record along the way.

Taiwo Awoniyi isn’t a stranger to Premier League clubs, having been on the books at Liverpool for six years (albeit without ever playing a competitive game due to work permit issues). Awoniyi was eventually sold to Union Berlin last summer after a successful loan spell there in 2020/21 and scored 15 goals in the Bundesliga to help Germany’s capital club qualify for the Europa League. The Nigerian’s performances caught the eye of many around Europe but it was Forest who won the race, forking out £17m for Awoniyi, £3.8m more than they paid for Joao Carvalho in 2018.

Neco Williams

From: Liverpool

Fee: £16m

Another ex-Liverpool man that will be plying his trade at the City Ground this season was signed directly from Jurgen Klopp’s side, Neco Williams will be hoping to make his mark on the Premier League as a permanent fixture of this Forest side. A right-back, Williams was never really going to get a chance at Liverpool but that doesn’t mean Forest haven’t got a good player on their hands. The 21-year-old impressed on loan at Fulham in the second-half of last season, making 2.78 tackles and 1.35 interceptions per 90 minutes in the Championship to go with two goals and two assists.

Moussa Niakhate

From: Mainz

Fee: £8.7m

Forest have been doing quite a bit of their shopping in the Bundesliga and they have nabbed a few impressive players, not least Moussa Niakhate. The Frenchman was one of the best centre-backs in the Bundesliga last season and helped Mainz to an eighth-placed finish, with just three teams (Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Union Berlin) conceding fewer goals than them in the German top flight. Niakhate is particularly good on the floor, winning possession 126 times in the defensive third last season – just five players managed that more in the Bundesliga – while he also attempted 257 final third passes.

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Omar Richards

From: Bayern Munich

Fee: £8.5m

Omar Richards spent just one year away from English football, joining Bayern Munich from Reading last season, but he is back already and will be hoping to make more of a mark at the City Ground than he did the Allianz Arena. Richards was expected to the Forest’s starting left-wing-back in the Premier League and while that may still be the long-term plan, he will have to wait for that opportunity, suffering a hairline fracture in his leg in pre-season. While it wasn’t as bad as first feared, it will see Richards ruled out for around 10 weeks.

Lewis O’Brien

From: Huddersfield

Fee: £6m

If you can’t beat them, join them. Right? That’s certainly what Lewis O’Brien did after watching Forest beat his Huddersfield in the Championship play-off final. The central midfielder played 46 games for the Terriers last season but was impressed by the work Cooper is putting in at Forest and the team he is building. “You only have to look at Forest’s turnaround last season to see that something special is happening here at the moment, and after my first conversation with Steve Cooper it was obvious we both share the same vision,” he said after his signing.

“I’m buzzing to be part of the project.”

Giulian Biancone

From: Troyes

Fee: £5m

Forest have had a clear goal in the summer transfer window, bolster their defence, particularly the flanks. Joining Williams in providing depth to the right-back/ right-wing-back position will be Giulian Biancone, a 22-year-old Frenchman signed from Troyes. Like Williams, Biancone is definitely a more defensively-minded player and he’ll be key to helping Forest attack down their left flank by providing a secure back up on the right. In Ligue 1 last season, Biancone averaged 2.75 tackles and 2.08 interceptions per 90 minutes, as well as 2.59 clearances and 3.77 possessions won in the defensive third.

Harry Toffolo

From: Huddersfield

Fee: £4m

If you can’t beat them, join them. Right? Wait a minute…

O’Brien’s arrival at Forest from Huddersfield was actually part of a deal bringing another player from the Terriers to the Reds, and the signing of Harry Toffolo is the one fans are more excited about. Toffolo had just one year left on his Huddersfield contract and thrived at left-back having joined from Lincoln in 2020, and will no doubt go straight into the XI as the left-wing-back. In the Championship last season, Toffolo was directly involved in 14 goals for Huddersfield, scoring six and providing a further eight assists, very much an attack-minded wing-back.

Brandon Aguilera

From: Alajuelense

Fee: Undisclosed

Brandon Aguilera only made a fleeting appearance at Forest in the summer, signed from Costa Rican side Alajuelense before being sent immediately on loan to Guanacasteca (also in Costa Rica). But this is definitely one for the future, with the Costa Rican international only recently turning 19 and expected to link up with Forest’s U23 squad when he returns at the end of his loan spell. And he could return to Forest with World Cup experience, being tipped by some to be part of Costa Rica’s squad for Qatar 2022.

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Ryan Hammond

From: Millwall

Fee: Undisclosed

Not every Forest signing this summer is a first-team one, with Ryan Hammond joining from Millwall on a one-year deal and going straight into the club’s U23s side.

Wayne Hennessey

From: Burnley

Fee: Free

The final first-team area Forest needed to beef up was in goal, with Brice Samba leaving the club. This first signing should be more of a depth-padding one, to provide experience as back-up (and allowing Wayne Hennessey to remain in the Premier League following Burnley’s relegation). The Welshman, now 35, played just five Premier League games in the past three seasons and will likely be happy in a secondary role.

Dean Henderson

From: Manchester United

Fee: Loan

Taking the No.1 spot should be Dean Henderson. The Englishman will have hoped to be Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper last season, with David de Gea not at his best, but he was unable to usurp the Spaniard and had to make do with just three appearances across all competitions. “Dean is a top-class goalkeeper and he’s hungry for more opportunities to play and to continue to prove himself at the highest level,” Cooper said of Henderson’s arrival at the City Ground.

Unfortunately for Forest fans, though, this deal is just a loan move with no option to buy – meaning they will be likely to lose Henderson come the end of the 2022/23 campaign.