Nottingham Forest sign Costel Pantilimon and Ashkan Dejagah in double swoop

Nottingham Forest sign Costel Pantilimon and Ashkan Dejagah in double swoop

Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of both Costel Pantilimon and Ashkan Dejagah as their busy Deadline Day continues.

Sam Straw

Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of both Costel Pantilimon and Ashkan Dejagah.

Pantilimon arrives at The City Ground from Premier League side Watford until the end of the season whilst Dejagah is a free agent and has also been given a deal until the end of the season. 

Tobias Figueiredo became Aitor Karanka's first signing since taking over at Forest yesterday evening and there are set to be a couple more new faces arriving in Nottingham before the transfer window slams shut tonight. 

Karanka clearly felt that Forest needed some new recruits urgently following the Reds' dismal performance in the 3-0 defeat to play-off hopefuls Preston North End at The City Ground on Tuesday evening. 

Much-needed competition for Smith 

The arrival of Pantilimon at Forest means that Jordan Smith's place in the starting line-up is now under serious threat. The youth academy product has been ever-present in goal so far this season for the Reds but the likes of Stephen Henderson have offered very little competition. It would be a surprise if Pantilimon does not start for Forest given his experience at this level. 

The 30-year-old Romanian has spent the first-half of the season on loan at Deportivo La Coruña in La Liga but only made six appearances. He has so far featured for Politehnica Timisoara, Manchester City, Sunderland, Watford and most recently Deportivo in his career.  

He certainly has the quality to be a success at Forest shown by the fact he was part of the City team that won the League Cup in 2014 and he also went on to collect a Premier League winners' medal in the same year. He may be the commanding presence that the Reds have lacked in net ever since Dorus De Vries left to join Scottish giants Celtic a couple of years ago. 

He has spoken to Forest's official website about his excitement to get started. He said: "I am very happy and I am glad to be part of this huge club. I am excited to start and I am looking forward to start working here. The history is there, it is a big club in England and I wanted to play back here in England."

He added: "I am excited to work with the manager; it was one of the key factors in my decision. It is a pleasure to know him, to start working with him and I hope yo get some good results here."

Fresh start for Dejagah 

As for 31-year-old winger Dejagah, he has been without a club since he left Bundesliga side Wolfsburg last summer. It is therefore a wise move from Forest to only give him a deal until the end of the season, and if he performs, there is always the potential for that to be extended. 

Dejagah does have experience in English football as he played for Fulham during their spell in the Premier League. He was a success at Craven Cottage and went on to play for Iran in the same year at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He is certainly a very experienced player and Karanka will be hoping that he can pass that experience on to some of Forest's younger players. 

It is unlikely that Dejagah will find himself instantly thrown into the starting line-up as he will without doubt lack match fitness after not playing for such a significant amount of time. However, Karanka will be hoping that he can get up to speed quickly so he has another attacking option at his disposal. 

Dejagah has spoken to the club's official website about his delight to be back in England. He said: "I am really happy to be here and back in the UK. Nottingham Forest is a big, traditional club and I am happy to be here."

He added: "The manager spoke to my agent and he was interested in signing me, and for him and the club to want me made it an easy decision. I didn't have to think about it, it was an easy 'yes' and hopefully I can help the manager, my teammates and the team."​

Forest travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday to take on promotion hopefuls Fulham and it will be interesting to see whether Pantilimon and Dejagah play a part or not.