“The problem with delusions of grandeur is that you don’t know where greatness ends and madness begins”. How best to sum up the summer transfer window of Nottingham Forest, if not by this maxim borrowed from Quino, famous Argentine comic book author. And for good reason. If certain alarmist spirits are already blowing, rightly or wrongly, the excessive term by noting the balance sheet of the Reds on the transfer market, other souls, gathered in the East Midlands, are harnessing themselves, as for them, to compose their future dream eleven. An excitement donning the red and white colors dear to the City Ground and surging just hours after a summer steeped in near-constant turmoil. The drunkenness of a freshly promoted to the elite of English football and ready to do anything to get noticed.
Back in the Premier League 23 years after leaving it, Nottingham Forest has indeed achieved a transfer window as dizzying as it is historic. 21 recruits, or practically two entire teams. A stage which could moreover be reached since, as we revealed to you, Serge Aurier, free agent, agrees to join the English formation. 173 million euros spent with, as a highlight, this transfer of Morgan Gibbs-White, a 22-year-old midfielder recruited from Wolverhampton for 29 M€ (excluding bonuses). Symbol of this constant activity, the leaders of Nottingham Forest have thus spent more than a third of the total invested by all the Bundesliga clubs combined (484 million euros spent). On all lines and in all positions, Forest has recruited.
Twenty One Forest!
In goal, the Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis, owner of the club, and his staff have thus enlisted Dean Henderson, arrived from Manchester United, but also Wayne Hennessey, landed as a free agent. In defense, the current fifteenth in the Premier League, recently swept away by Manchester City and Erling Haaland, can now count on Neco Williams, former right-back of Liverpool, Renan Lodi, passed by Atlético de Madrid, Moussa Niakhate (ex-Mainz ), Giulian Biancone (ex-Troyes), Omar Richards, snatched from Bayern Munich, Harry Toffolo, left back who played for Huddersfield, Willy Boly, former Wolves player or even Loïc Badé, on loan from Stade Rennais. In the midfield, in addition to Morgan Gibbs-White, Forest got their hands on Orel Mangala, Lewis O’Brien, Remo Freuler, Brandon Aguilera, Cheikhou Kouyaté or even Jesse Lingard, at the end of the contract on the side of the Red Devils.
Author of two small achievements after five days spent alongside the best in Her Majesty’s Kingdom, Nottingham Forest has not, however, skimped on the means to strengthen its offensive sector. Thus, Emmanuel Dennis arrived from Watford just like Taiwo Awoniyi, bought 20 million euros from Union Berlin. Relegated to Ligue 2 with the Girondins de Bordeaux, Ui-jo Hwang has also decided to join the ambitious project of the formation coached by Steve Cooper. 21st and last recruit of the Reds, Josh Bowler, attracted in the last moments of the transfer window, will also be part of the adventure.
Unstoppable throughout the summer, the double winner of the Champion Clubs’ Cup (1979 and 1980) has, in any case, given himself the means to compete as well as possible with the top of English football. According to the Transfermarkt site, the 21 recruits attracted during the same transfer period constitute an absolute record in England, well beyond the 17 arrivals of Crystal Palace during the summer transfer window 2013. It remains to be seen whether the technician Welshman, a 3-4-3 follower since the start of the season, will find the right formula to allow all these new faces to shine in the Premier League. “The problem with delusions of grandeur is that you don’t know where greatness ends and madness begins.”