Nottingham Forest are a team that seem to be on everyone’s lips at the moment.
The Reds have had an impressive summer of business, bringing in a number of players and bolstering their squad to the point that many are considering them among the favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League.
This summer, Nottingham Forest have smashed their transfer record to land Joao Carvalho from Benfica, and have signed his team-mate Diogo Goncalves on loan, as well as exciting winger Gil Dias from Monaco on loan.
The central midfield problem has been sorted with the arrival of Jack Colback on loan and Costel Pantilimon also returns to The City Ground to solve the goalkeeper issue.
Michael Dawson adds much-needed experience to the defence, Jack Robinson is a shrewd addition at left-back on a free transfer and Hillal Soudani and Lewis Grabban bolster the striker options.
Forest’s transfer business certainly has people talking and Colin Murray – who is the host of the new EFL highlights show on Quest TV – is excited about Aitor Karanka’s men this summer.
Speaking to FLW writer Jay Williams at the Quest TV highlights show launch last week, Murray said: “This is my team if you look at the names they’ve brought in. And it’s not just about bringing the names as you know, it’s getting the right player.
“Grabban is the right player. Pantilimon’s a really good signing as well. Karanka’s the right manager for them.”
The only concern that Murray has about Nottingham Forest is that their flurry of new players may not gel or buy into the project.
However, he still feels that they are among the favourites to win promotion this season.
Murray added: “Are the players going to buy into the project? But I think I’d back Nottingham Forest more than any remaining Championship club.
“From the end of last season to now, they are maybe the most improved team in terms of likeliness to go up for me.”
Quest TV pundits Dean Ashton and Ian Holloway are also excited about Nottingham Forest’s chances this season.
Ashton, formerly of West Ham United and England, told us: “They’ve gone and got Grabban, a player who could and should have been top scorer last season. And then brings in Michael Dawson – someone with loads of experience and he’s back at the club he started with.
“They’re getting the balance right and Karanka – as he showed at Middlesbrough – he can really set a team up to be hard to beat. It looks like they could have a really good season with the business that they’ve done.”
Holloway also believes that Karanka is the right man to lead Nottingham Forest forward in this new era.
The former Millwall and QPR manager said: “They’ve got the potential to spend big because they’ve got a big fanbase. They’ve got Aitor Karanka who’s proven – he’s done it before. And they’re making some outstanding signings, so you’ve got to call them a force.”