Football Season Guide

Nottingham Forest


Taiwo Awoniyi (att) Union Berlin; Neco Williams (def) Liverpool; Moussa Niakhaté (def) Mainz; Giulian Biancone (def) Troyes; Omar Richards (def) Bayern Munich; Lewis O'Brien (mid) Huddersfield; Harry Toffolo (def) Huddersfield; Jesse Lingard (att) free transfer; Wayne Hennessey (gk) free transfer; Dean Henderson (gk) Man Utd – on loan; Orel Mangala (mid) Stuttgart


Brice Samba (gk) Lens; Tobias Figueiredo (def) released; Nikolas Ioannou (def) Como; Ethan Horvath (gk) Luton – on loan; Jonathan Panzo (def) Coventry – on loan; Lewis Grabban (att) released; Gaetan Bong (def) released; Carl Jenkinson (def) released; James Garner (mid) Manchester United – end of loan; Keinan Davis (att) Aston Villa – end of loan; Djed Spence (def) Middlesbrough – end of loan; Philip Zinckernagel (mid) Watford – end of loan; Xande Silva (att) Dijon

Nottingham Forest’s 23-year wait for a Premier League return has ended, as they managed to secure promotion through the Championship playoffs. Following a slow start to the season, Forest dismissed Chris Hughton and hired Steve Cooper, who worked wonders and led the team to a fourth-place finish with 80 points, having scored 73 goals, which was the third highest in the league. Forest have been one of the most active clubs in the summer transfer window. Neco Williams, Moussa Niakhaté, Giulian Biancone and Omar Richards arrived to beef up the defence, with Jesse Lingard being their statement signing for far. Nottingham lost a solid goalkeeper in Brice Samba, who was key to his team’s efforts to secure promotion, but they signed a very talented shot-stopper, as Dean Henderson joined from Manchester United on loan. Cooper deployed a 3-4-1-2 formation, which switched to 5-3-2 when Forest were not in possession. His main achievement was that he managed to ensure his players were flexible enough to adapt to positional and tactical changes during the game. Nottingham recruited smartly, signing players who have top-flight experience. This might be their main strength compared to the other two teams who secured promotion. However, their main issue could be that key backbone players such as Garner, Davis, Spence, and Zinckernagel were all borrowed assets last season and they have since returned to their parent clubs. This means that new signings should adapt quickly, as West Ham, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Manchester City are four of Forest’s first five fixtures.


Forest will focus all their efforts on outplaying the other two newly-promoted teams and securing safety on their Premier League comeback.