Chris Hughton has hinted that Nottingham Forest will be in the market for further free-agent additions after sealing the ‘no-brainer’ signing of defender Rodrigo Ely last week.
After bringing in three new players on Deadline Day and beating the clock to sign Djed Spence on loan from Middlesbrough, Forest announced the surprise signing of Ely last Thursday.
Ely had been on the lookout for a new club after being let go by La Liga side Alaves upon the expiry of his contract at the end of last season.
The 27-year-old featured 85 times during his time with Alaves, but a cruciate ligament injury limited him to only eight appearances in La Liga last season.
The defender, who had two spells with Italian giants AC Milan earlier on in his career, has penned a one-year deal at the City Ground, with Forest moving to bolster their defensive ranks.
Ely adds depth to an area of the pitch which is already competitive, after the Reds managed to keep hold of Joe Worrall in the transfer window. Scott McKenna, Tobias Figueiredo and Loic Mbe Soh also remain on Trentside, vying for a place in the side.
Speaking to the press this afternoon, Hughton explained his reasons for bringing Ely in, hinting that his arrival may prompt a change in formation going forward.
Hughton said: “He’s a player who has had a couple of injuries, but he’s a player of good calibre and good quality.
“For us – it was a no-brainer. For what we have, and the squad that we want to have, it possibly gives us another option in regards to formation.
“He’s not an old player, but he’s a player who has a good level of experience. He will also be a player who will add something in training and in the changing room.
“That’s why he took him. Sometimes, some things happen that are not particularly planned at the time. That’s the good part of the transfer window.
“Sometimes an opportunity comes to take somebody you think is very much worth exploring. Every now and again, an opportunity arrives and you have to make a decision.”
Forest brought in 10 new players over the course of the summer, with Ely becoming their final addition of what turned out to be a busy window in the end.
But Hughton may not be done there when it comes to bringing new players in, with the club able to strike deals for those players still without a club.
The Reds have been linked with the signing of former Espanyol striker Facundo Ferreyra, with negotiations said to have began between the relevant parties.
Hughton confirmed that Forest may consider exploring the free-agent market further, adding: “Yes it is (something we may consider).
“It’s not something we will definitely be doing, but if I’m looking at the squad, we still have availability on the 25-man list.
“What we won’t do is take somebody in for the sake of taking somebody in. We will only look at taking somebody in if they are available and they can add value to us.
“We still have a market, which are players out-of-contract, but we know it’s a small market, and in this period, we’ve got to accept where we are.
“This is the squad we’ve got. If we are able to do something over and above that, then great. If not, this is the squad which has got to get the points to start climbing the table.”