For the first time in 23 years, Nottingham Forest are back in the Premier League. A host of loan signings helped them beat Huddersfield Town at Wembley back in May. However, as the start of the 2022/23 campaign looms, the heroes of that day have not returned on permanent deals; and to add insult to injury, captain Lewis Grabban, long serving defender Tobias Figureido and club legend Brice Samba have all left Trentside.
Despite all this though, Steve Cooper has assembled a mightily fine squad ahead of the opener at St James Park to face Newcastle United. At the time of writing, Forest have made 11 signings, with a further one on the way is the shape of Stuttgart’s Orel Mangala. The question of “have the Reds bought good players that will work, or have they done aFulham?”
Well, let’s take a deep dive and have a look…
1) Taiwo Awoniyi (Age 24) – Forward
Tricky Trees began their summer spending off by shattering their club record to sign
Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi. The Nigerian was the sixth top scorer in the Bundesliga last season and joins the club for an estimated £18,000,000.
He has had a bit of a slow pre-season, but he has already come out and stated he has “no
excuse” to fall back on if he performs poorly.
2) Neco Williams (Age 21) – Defender
With Djed Spence off to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspurs, Forest needed a dependable
right-wing back to bomb up and down the flanks.
Well, after a good second half of the season on loan at Championship winners Fulham,
Forest signed the Welshman from domestic double winners Liverpool for around
With Champions League experience, and a Premier League winners medal, he is a brilliant
addition to the City Ground.
3) Moussa Niakhate (Age 26) – Defender
With West Ham United and Everton interested, Forest have done to land the pacey
A centre-back with excellent composure, the Mainz captain signed for £9,000,000 and is
already quietly confident that his new side will do well.
4) Giulian Biancone (Age 22) – Defender
An unknown to everybody, the Frenchman can play anywhere across the backline.
Signing from Ligue 1 side Troyes where he made 36 appearances in the 21/22 season, he has
already made a good impression with fans after scoring against Coventry City in pre-season.
5) Omar Richards (Age 24) – Defender
Another defender, this time signing from Bayern Munich.
Previously at Reading, the left-wing back has already got injured and will miss the start of
the campaign for the Reds.
He struggled for game time at the German champions, but if he can get fit again, he could
be a very astute addition.
6) Lewis O’Brien (Age 23) – Midfielder
A double signing (with the next man on this list) from Huddersfield Town, the complete
midfielder is one of the best pieces of business by any club in the English top flight this
With six goal contributions last season, he offers as much going forward as he does
defensively and will be one to watch this season.
7) Harry Toffolo (Age 26) – Defender
Despite the deal nearly falling through due to wage demands, the left-wing back arrives on
Trentside with some crazy statistics from the previous season.
The former Lincoln City player got eight assists and six goals across the Championship
season, so if he can make the step-up to the Premier League without any issues then he
could be another one to keep an eye on.
8) Brandon Aguilera (Age 19) – Midfielder
Already loaned back to the club Forest signed him from, the Costa Rican is a signing for the
9) Jesse Lingard (Age 29) - Midfielder
What is there to say that has not already been said? Forget the money and just look at the
29 Premier League goals, an FA Cup winner and plenty of European competition experience
Yes, it is a risk on the wages, but if Cooper can get the best out of the former Derby County
loanee, then there is a big chance Forest will have a season to remember. But if he doesn’t
perform, then relegation could loom for the Reds. He really will be that important to their
10) Dean Henderson (Age 25) – Goalkeeper
He may have struggled for game time at Manchester United, but there is no doubting he is a
great loan signing for the Reds.
With his most memorable moments at Sheffield United between 2018 and 2020, he even
got in the FIFA Team of the Season for his performances in the 19/20 campaign.
He is certainly a player for those FPL managers out there with the save points he can
provide, and he is also certainly a signing that will help lick the wounds of Samba’s
11) Wayne Hennessey (Age 35) – Goalkeeper
The Welsh number one arrives on a free from newly relegated side Burnley.
Very much at Forest to be second fiddle to Dean Henderson but is guaranteed two games
this season with Henderson unable to play vs his parent club.