The incredible summer transfer window Nottingham Forest, success or fiasco?


“I didn’t just buy players to spend money, it was because we needed them”. These words are those of the chairman of Nottingham Forest, Evangelos Marinakis. They are part of a very specific context for the Reds. After 23 years of absence from the elite of English football, this legendary club having won the Champions League twice (1979, 1980) has made its return to the Premier League with the firm intention of staying there. This is why the Greek businessman spent just under €162m during the 2022 summer transfer window, adding 23 new players to Steve Cooper’s squad.

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Nottingham Forest, from the top of their 18th place after 15 games played in Her Majesty’s Kingdom this season, probably expected better for their big comeback, given the colossal investments that have been made. During the truce imposed by the 2022 World Cup, a 24th player came to reinforce the promoted in December. “They said we had too many players and it would be difficult, but five of our key players last season were on loan (Djed Spence, James Garner, Keinan Davis, Philip Zinckernagel, Max Lowe) so we had to replace “justified Evangelos Marinakis in the columns of the Telegram last December 20.

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A very complicated back to basics

And the boss of Forest to continue. “You also have to buy players at Premier League level, so we had to add quality across the board. If our key players hadn’t been loaned out, it would have been a whole different story. It was inevitable. » As you will have understood, the Nottingham Reds had no choice if they wanted to have even an ounce of hope of remaining in the Premier League. But everyone knows that it is not easy to maneuver with a team composed mainly of new elements, and that it often takes time.

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The nightmarish start to the season by Jesse Lingard and his partners (1 victory in the first 11 days) did not really surprise observers. The defensive feverishness of the Reds, long red lantern, was far too penalizing to hope for better (23 goals conceded in 11 games). Offensively, like the whole collective, the mayonnaise also struggled to take and the executives were disappointing. But time is precisely what Steve Cooper benefited from. The president of Forest has maintained his confidence in the project, not hesitating to extend the 43-year-old Welsh technician. Very badly took it, because since this decision, things are going a little better.

A glimmer of hope for Nottingham Forest, which believes in its project

In Nottingham Forest’s last 8 games in all competitions, Steve Cooper’s squad have only lost twice, also winning 3, including a prestigious one against Liverpool and another in the League Cup against Tottenham. Proof that the Reds, who were also able to afford West Ham at the start of the season, are gaining momentum (3 clean sheets in the last 5 league games) and that a collective is starting to take shape. Forest, 2nd worst attack in PL tied with Everton (11 goals scored) will however have to work hard to leave and then move away from the red zone.

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Morgan Gibbs-White, the most expensive rookie in Forest history (€29.5m), and Taiwo Awoniyi, who follows just behind (€20.5m), for example only scored 2 and 3 respectively. goals. Insufficient performance for elements expected to be among the most formidable in the field. To continue to improve, Evangelos Marinakis, whose personal fortune is estimated at at least 500 M£ (around 571 M€), does not intend to stop there and still wants to put his hand in his pocket . “We will try to have at least two more players (in January), which will help us”said the owner of the club since 2017 to our English colleagues.

A new transfer window to shine

If the sporting director Filippo Giraldi will have the heavy task of releasing the professional workforce from players who do not play (Loïc Badé has returned to Rennes), it will also be a question of targeting the real needs of this team during the winter transfer window. Cheikhou Kouyaté’s injury with Senegal in Qatar is likely to force Forest to sign an additional midfielder. Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) is particularly targeted, while Armando Broja’s injury with Chelsea forced the promoted to abandon this track for his attacking sector.

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“Competition and opponents are much stronger now, but we are very optimistic for the future”, underlined the boss of Nottingham Forest, who wants to be confident in terms of his workforce for the rest of the events. It will be necessary to quickly get back into the bath of competition, with a trip to Manchester United on Boxing Day, just before the reception of Chelsea, on January 1, 2023. The opportunity to prove that the Reds are indeed on the right track. way, while silencing the critics falling on their spending madness, which had not, for example, prevented Fulham from descending immediately into the Championship, in 2021.

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