When the clock struck 11pm last night there seemed to be a huge sigh of relief. Nottingham Forest have set a Premier League record of 21 transfers in a summer window, surpassing the previous milestone set by Crystal Palace in 2013 when they penned the total of seventeen new summer signings ahead of an eleventh placed finish that campaign.
It’s a monumental effort and one which can easily go either way, either the building of a completely new side will be the business to ambitiously keep Forest in the Premier Division, or the gamble of so many signings could backfire in the faces of Steve Cooper and Evangelos Marinakis ahead of potential disaster and relegation back to the Championship?
Many of those incomings, of course, were needed, having seen the majority of their first team squad from the promotion winning campaign of last leave, some back from loan to their parent clubs, others by choice, with contracts running out, few deemed not good enough, in all nine first team players have left for good, as well as five loanees who played a huge part in the clubs promotion and win at Wembley in the playoffs, not to mention those loaned out to lower echelons to free up some space for supposed improved quality.
On Thursday, off the back of having been beaten 6-0 by Premier League champions Manchester City, the club added more to their packed roster when announcing Willy Boly in a lunchtime capture that would surely at least bolster the clubs defence.
31-year-old Boly is an Ivory Coast international with 125 Premier League appearances to his name. A 6ft5in centre half he’ll add height, strength, leadership and nouse, much needed in the Reds backline.
Joining Boly, announced late last night, was 22-year-old French defender Loic Bade from Rennes.
An exciting talent with French U21 caps, Bade, like Boly is of Ivorian descent and is strong in the air, decent on the ball and reads the play well, is perhaps considered one for the future having been a bit part player in the French Ligue 1.
Another capture by Forest yesterday, and one for the future perhaps, is Josh Bowler, signed from Blackpool, the attacking playmaker was immediately loaned out to Greek cousins Olympiakos in a move that looks like the Reds hedging their bets ahead of potential Premier League failure.
Rumours of signing French full back Serge Aurier, who is out of contract, still circle, whilst a deal for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi was said to have fell through late last night, just about the only player Nottingham Forest did not get over the line this window.
It’s been busy, it’s been tumultuous, it’s certainly been fun, and stressful, that thank the lord it’s over, and we can now simply get down to football, and Nottingham Forest having some stability ahead of a tough campaign of predicted highs and lows ahead.
Whether or not Nottingham Forest have ‘won’ the transfer window this summer it remains to be seen? Plenty of memes have them as a laughing stock on the socials whilst others will fight their corner and vouch the many signings as much needed necessities. A record amount of business done in England’s top division this window, has seen £1.9bn spent across all twenty clubs, with others catching the bug late on, the likes of Chelsea, Southampton, Fulham, investing heavily on the final day before shut. Maybe the business from Forest prompted others to act? Let’s hope that business begins to pay off, as we finally get down to what happens on the pitch, and not off it. Starting at Bournemouth and a September six-pointer at the City Ground on Saturday.
See you in January, where I’m sure they’ll be more to come.
*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).
*Main image @NFFC Willy Boly was the nineteenth capture announced by Forest.