Is Lingard The Icing On The Cake?

Nottingham Forest have today completed a huge statement signing of England International Jesse Lingard on a season long deal rumoured to be worth over £120,000 per week in wages.

The player was out of contract following his departure from Manchester United and joins the Reds on a free after it looked for long periods this summer, he would be signing for West Ham United where he had an impressive spell on loan during the 2020/21 season.

Lingard joins the new look City Ground regime aged 29 having played 232 times for Manchester United with 32 England caps, his signing was announced with a photoshoot in London by Miltiadis Marinakis, son of Reds owner Evangelos, with Lingard stating on his own social media “Done deal baby, let’s go”.

Whilst the players ‘socials’ have often been criticised, there is no doubt, that Nottingham Forest have secured themselves a superstar footballer who has played in Champions League and World Cup knockout matches as well as the final of the Europa League, once scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup Final for his boyhood club Manchester United.

The Warrington born midfielder smashes the best paid records at Forest as the clubs soaring wage bill rises further more but with the relatively secure gamble, of paying Premier League wages for Premier League quality players, Lingard like his former Red Devils teammate Dean Henderson (on a rumoured £100k a week himself), will be on a mind boggling amount of money to play for Nottingham Forest this year, who in return hope that investment will pay off, by securing at least Premier League status in their first season back this side of the Millennium.

There’s no doubt the clubs’ ambitious Greek owners are indeed ‘having a go’ at not just ‘staying in the division’ next season, but with a view to becoming a permanent Premier League fixture long term, they are happy to invest on building something potentially, to compete with those even in the higher echelons of the division which has excited fans. Our own Tom Head stating on Twitter today “Jesse Lingard a Nottingham Forest player in the Premier League. One year ago, I was upset Chris Hughton didn’t bring Filip Krovinovic back to the club. This has been dizzying, meteoric rise for a club that never looked capable of it. Absolutely f*****g wild times.”

Lingard joins former Huddersfield pairing Harry Toffolo and Lewis O’Brien who joined Steve Cooper’s bulging Reds squad only on Wednesday afternoon. Midfielder O’Brien still only 23, is highly regarded as a combative ball winning playmaker who came through the West Yorkshire sides Academy whilst Toffolo who started his own career at Norwich City, is a solid dependable left-sided wing back who likes to get forward. He’ll act as swift cover for Omar Richards who signed from Bayern Munich but has recently suffered a hairline fracture to a bone in his leg, and will be out for a good few weeks.

Whilst O’Brien & Toffolo cost a reported £10m between them, roughly the same as Richards himself who joined from Bayern for near €10m, there has been a number of other huge fees paid for the likes of Moussa Niakhate, who looks a snip at £9m from Mainz in Germany, Neco Williams from Liverpool who cost near £17m and Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin who is reportedly the clubs record signing at just over £17.5m, the club have not been afraid to put their money on staying up at the first attempt with some quality and exciting looking additions.

In all, the Reds have signed eleven players since beating Huddersfield in the Playoff Final at Wembley, but whether Lingard is the icing on the cake, or just the beginning of an even bigger and better showstopper to come? Well that depends on how ambitious the clubs’ owners feel they need to go further more, and whether they trust enough in what they have already?

Still cause perhaps for another centre forward with Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis very much on the radar, don’t be shocked to see even more players come through the gates of Pavilion Road before the end of August, but if not, and if Lingard is the biggest asset of them all, pinch yourself Forest fans, enjoy the moment too, because it hasn’t been a bad summer at all, has it?

Nottingham Forest summer signings 2022

Ryan Hammond (Millwall) free, Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin) £17.5m, Giulian Biancone (Troyes) £3.6m, Moussa Niakhate (Mainz 05) £9m, Omar Richards (Bayern Munich) £8.5m, Neco Williams (Liverpool) £17m, Wayne Hennessey (Burnley) free, Brandon Aguilera (Alajuelense) £850,000, Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield Town) & Lewis O’Brien (Huddersfield Town) £10m (joint fee), Jesse Lingard (unattached) free.

Total spending so far: £66.45m

*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).

*Main image @NFFC Jesse Lingard becomes Forest’s eleventh signing of the summer.

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