Nottingham Forest have had an eventful transfer window this summer, epitomized by a hectic deadline day that saw their star player leave and their fans confused as to whether they had signed any of their further three targets.
To summarise the work done by Dougie Freedman and Fawaz Al Hasawi in the transfer window, it’s important to consider the financial limitations the club have been working under: a transfer embargo disallowing the club to spend a transfer fee and to offer wages over £10,000 a week.
There’s no doubt that Forest are in a difficult situation when concerning incoming and outgoing players.
However, the overall picture of Forests’ summer business isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, it’s rather positive.
But by starting with the negatives, a doom and gloom attitude can arise in typical Forest fashion.
The sale of Michail Antonio comes to mind instantly. Forest’s star player last season – scoring 16 goals and making 11 assists – has now made the switch to the big time at West Ham United.
His power and pace struck fear into Championship defenders last season, making the winger an asset that Forest fans will be sad to lose. There’s a reason he was dubbed as one of the best players outside the top-flight: he was fantastic at Championship level.
He is certainly a huge loss for the side who have had a stuttering start to this season’s Sky Bet Championship.
However, disregarding Jamie Paterson’s loan move to Huddersfield, Forest’s outgoings have been welcomed by fans at the City Ground.
Shifting out the deadwood is something that was well received by the fans as high-earners such as Jamie Mackie, Djamel Abdoun and Radaslow Majewski were shown the door by Freedman. Other players such as Danny Collins and Greg Halford were released, significantly reducing the exceedingly high wage bill at the club.
When summing up the work Forest have done over the last few months, this point should not be under-stated.
The club were in serious financial peril at the start of the transfer window: high wages, high spending and poor investment had put Al Hasawi in a seriously difficult position. However, by reducing wages at the club and selling Antonio for £7m, the club are reportedly set to emerge from the overhanging cloud of the transfer embargo that is fast becoming a huge barrier to Forest’s success.
With this in mind, the incoming players at Forest have certainly been impressive considering the situation the club find themselves in.
Freedman’s transfer activity began early with the astute acquisitions of Jamie Ward and Matt Mills – two experienced Championship players that have the quality to become solid first team regulars at the City Ground. Both the winger and the defender have had decent starts to this Championship season despite Ward’s continuation of his injury issues – a problem that Forest fans know all too well.
To bolster his defensive options, Forest then signed the Spanish full-back Daniel Pinillos – a player that I still don’t know too much about. However, he looked confident and assured at left-back and appears to be a decent signing for Forest as Danny Fox has been relegated to the substitute’s bench.
Kyle Ebecilio, a strong and effective defensive midfielder, was added to the ranks and further accumulated the good work done by the Forest management team and chairman over the summer. These are all decent signings – they would be even for a team without a transfer embargo hanging above their heads – and Forest will be confident that they can be utilised to improve their underwhelming form so far this season.
Then came deadline day: a day that left Forest fans somewhat confused and disappointed.
The sale of Antonio was just the start, as fans became underwhelmed by the capture of striker Chris O’Grady who only scored one goal in his spell at Brighton. Then, when the 6pm deadline arrived, Forest were yet to announce that they had signed any of their heavily reported three transfer targets: Nelson Oliveira, Jonny Williams and Ryan Mendes.
To sign three established internationals on deadline day would have been the boost that Forest needed to improve their performances on the pitch and boost the morale among the fans who consistently take to social media to express their distaste. The well-needed boost was finally delivered three days after deadline day as Forest’s summer transfer window became that bit more impressive.
The signings of Oliveira and Mendes were finally confirmed after the Football League approved the deals, bringing a little bit of optimism to Forest fans for the first time in a long time. If Jonny Williams can be confirmed in the coming days, then the business done by Forest this window has been nothing short of superb.
Consider the situation the club are in, then I’m sure you’d agree.
Keeping Henri Lansbury and Michael Mancienne in the side should be emphasised too. With interest for the two players heavily documented, it was a credit to Forest to keep them in their plans and to persuade them to stay with a club somewhat suffering at the time. With those two kept in the side, Forest have a side capable of competing at the upper-reaches of the Championship table.
The fact that Forest can boast that after the turmoil at the club in recent months shows that Forest’s summer transfer window has been a lot more successful than some may think.
Forest fans… Do you agree? Was the transfer window a success for your club? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!