It has been a self-confessed “frustrating” start to the transfer window for Chris Hughton, but the Nottingham Forest manager insists that he will add more bodies to his squad over the next couple of weeks.
Forest have made only one summer signing thus far, with goalkeeper Ethan Horvath arriving at the City Ground on a three-year deal following his departure from Club Brugge.
But after finishing 17th in the Championship last season, it’s an understatement to say that work still needs to be done if Forest are to enjoy a more positive campaign this time around.
They have been bolstered by the return of youngsters Jordan Gabriel, Brennan Johnson and Tyrese Fornah following loan spells away, but there is scope to bring in plenty more fresh faces having bid farewell to 12 at the end of last season.
Forest will utilise the loan market this summer, and are likely to make the most of the five slots made available to them by the EFL.
We could also see a couple arrive for fees, but much like the arrival of Horvath, the club may have to be on the lookout for free agents, in a market where money isn’t being splashed about as much as previous years.
Here, we take a look at two free agents who Forest should look to bring in this summer…
Forest’s biggest problem last season was undoubtedly their inability to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
The Reds managed to score only 37 goals in 46 games, and only arch rivals Derby County, who narrowly avoided the drop, scored fewer goals than them out of all the sides in the division.
You look at Forest’s current attacking options, and it is clear to see that depth is lacking. Glenn Murray retired at the end of last season, whilst Lyle Taylor has been a bit-part player under Chris Hughton and is yet to feature in pre-season due to international duties with Montserrat.
Lewis Grabban is likely to be a key player for the Reds as he enters the final year of his contract on Trentside. The striker is now 33, and even though he only scored six goals last season, he remains a popular figure amongst the dressing room having wore the captain’s armband on numerous occasions last term.
Nuno da Costa has returned from a loan spell in Belgium with Mouscron, and the Cape Verdean showed real physicality and strength to set up Forest’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Port Vale on Saturday.
This brings us on nicely to Diedhiou, who has offered similar physical prowess and presence in the Championship on a weekly basis.
Diedhiou is looking for a new club having been let go by Bristol City at the end of his contract, having scored 51 goals in 169 games for the Robins.
The 28-year-old only scored eight goals in the Championship last term, but hit double figures in his last three seasons before that.
The powerful forward has been linked with moves to West Brom, Middlesbrough and Turkey, and Forest should consider making a move.
Forest also lack a great deal of depth out wide.
Joe Lolley, Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten are the club’s only out-and-out wide options at present, though a loan approach for Watford’s Philip Zinckernagel is believed to have been made.
But Sammy Ameobi’s departure at the end of last season leaves scope for a natural left-sided option to arrive, and this leads us on to mentioning Reach.
Reach left Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, scoring five goals and adding three assists in a campaign which culminated in relegation to League One for the Owls.
Reach’s game has seen him be converted into more of a wing-back over the last 12 months, but going forward, he carries a lot of threat and technical ability.
On a free transfer and at 28, he could be a shrewd addition for the Reds.