This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest are reportedly interested in a deal to sign former Stoke City forward Julien Ngoy, according to The Sunday Mirror (22nd August, page 67).
Ngoy left the Potters at the end of the 2020/21 season, and has been a free-agent since, although he’s attracting interest heading towards the end of the summer transfer window.
The Sunday Mirror also claim that fellow Championship side Blackpool are rumoured to be keen on a deal to land Ngoy’s signature.
It’s been a season to forget for Nottingham Forest so far, with the Reds currently sat bottom of the second-tier standings, after four defeats from their opening four matches in this year’s league campaign.
Chris Hughton’s men were beaten by Ngoy’s former side Stoke City at the weekend, and are seemingly eager to add attacking depth to their side in the near future.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Nottingham Forest’s rumoured interest in signing Ngoy this summer, and whether or not he’d be a good addition to Chris Hughton’s squad.
Although their full-back situation is iffy, it’s still clear they need a striker to compete with Lyle Taylor if they want to ensure they escape their attacking demons from last season.
This statistic has already been mentioned several times before but scoring 37 goals in 46 league games just isn’t good enough and it’s the sort of record that can get you relegated. Thankfully for Chris Hughton’s side, their defence compensated for this but the same can’t be said this season.
The East Midlands outfit have been leaking goals left, right and centre so far this season so competition for Lyle Taylor up top to return the favour for last season could be the key to overturning their recent form.
Although Ngoy’s six goals in 32 appearances in the Belgian top division is nothing to write home about, he has got off to a good start to this campaign, managing to record three goal contributions in five appearances and this could tempt the Championship side to make a move for him.
Although the 23-year-old has already been in England before with Stoke, it could take him a while to adapt to the second tier and this is why he wouldn’t be constantly knocking on Chris Hughton’s door asking for a starting spot.
This slow adaptation could potentially turn into a positive with morale already at its lowest at the City Ground, with Ngoy happy to remain on the bench in the early stages of his Forest career. So overall, it could be a move that pays dividends.
For me, Julien Ngoy is not the type of player that Nottingham Forest should be prioritising right now. Yes, there is a lot he can offer to the club’s front-line, but he is yet to prove himself as an out-and-out goalscorer.
Ngoy has a lot of desirable traits that would make him an exciting prospect in the Championship, with his electric pace, and powerful running, making him a real threat in attacking scenarios.
However, Chris Hughton’s side scored a mere 37 goals in the Championship last time around, meaning a striker who is extremely confident in front of goal should be the main priority at this stage of this transfer window.
There is no denying that he could come to Forest and thrive, but until a natural goalscorer is brought in, this move for me, should be put on hold.
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It’s clear to see from the opening few games of the season that Forest are in desperate need of reinforcements at both ends of the pitch, and they’re still lacking a cutting edge up-front.
Their only two strikers are senior ones in Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor and they clearly need a bit more pace and energy up there – and that is why Ngoy would be a good fit.
The Belgian didn’t really get much of a chance at Stoke City in his time at the club, making just seven league appearances for the Potters but he seems to be developing into an exciting forward at Eupen in his native country.
Despite only scoring six times in 32 league outings last season, Ngoy has kicked off his season well with two goals in his first five matches so it isn’t a shock to see Forest are interested as they look to be scouring Europe for some exciting talents.
Ngoy may not have an incredible goalscoring record in general but he’s only 23 years old – that finishing touch can be developed and he could be well worth the investment by the Tricky Trees.