Nottingham Forest: Transfer Window Summary
General view inside the City Ground ahead of kick-off of the during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town at the City Ground, Nottingham, England on 17th April 2021. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest have had a relatively quiet transfer window compared to their usual standards. Last summer under former boss Sabri Lamouchi, the Reds made 13 signings after infamously missing out on the top six, following a dramatic 4-1 defeat on the final day at home to Stoke City

Scott McKenna and Loic Mbe Soh were the two big-money signings that window, costing the club a combined £7.5 million from Aberdeen and Paris Saint Germain respectively. 

Outgoings

After the disappointment of the previous campaign, it was clear a big clear out was needed to trim down the deadwood amongst the Forest squad. Another 13 players departed the City Ground with only one player generating any financial benefit. 

Academy graduate Jordan Gabriel rejoined Blackpool after a successful loan spell with the Tangerines last season, in which he won promotion back to the second tier. Forest managed to receive a fee in the region of £700,000 for the 22-year-old, a good piece of business from the club. 

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The other 12 players left the club either on a free, or a loan deal. Yuri Ribeiro, Fouad Bachirou, Tyler Blackett, Sammy Ameobi, Samba Sow, Abdoulaye Diallo, Michael Hefele, Michael Dawson and Glenn Murray all left the club on frees, with the final three hanging up their boots for good.

Nuno Da Costa, Harry Arter and Nicholas Ioannou also left the club, but on season-long loan deals. After this many players departed, it was important Forest brought in quality over quantity to help guide the club back towards the top half of the table. 

However, this summer has been a slow burner for the new look recruitment team. Dane Murphy joined as CEO after leaving fellow Championship side Barnsley at the end of July to replace the outgoing Ioannis Vrentzos

Incomings

The first signing under Chris Hughton this summer was in the form of goalkeeper Ethan Horvath on a free transfer from Belgian side Club Brugge. 

Hughton admitted that the 26-year-old shot-stopper was brought into the club to "challenge" Brice Samba for the number one spot. So far this season, Horvath has done his chances no harm, with two impressive performances against Bradford City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup. Up to now, Horvath has proven to be a shrewd addition to the goalkeeping department, and after Samba's poor performances lately, we could soon see the USA international starting in the league on a consistent basis. 

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The Reds were the second-lowest scorers in the Championship last season, managing just 37 goals in 46 league outings. Hughton needed to bolster his attacking options, so he turned to Watford winger Phillip Zinckernagel. 

The 26-year-old joined the Hornets on a free from Danish side FK Bodø/Glimt last January and became an instant hit under boss Xisco Munoz despite being played out of position for the majority of last season. He bagged one goal and five assists in just 20 league outings playing as a deep lying playmaker, instead of as a winger, as he prefers. 

Joining the Reds on a season-long loan, he has already made an instant impact on Trentside. He was brought off the bench against Coventry City in the first game of the season and showed glimpses of the quality he possesses. Since then, he has never looked back, bagging three assists and one goal, in his seven appearances in the Garibaldi red. The winger has brought new life into the Forest forward line, however, Zinckernagel has a recall clause in his contract, so could leave the Reds in January.

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After the departures of Ribeiro, Blackett, Gabriel and Ioannou, full-back reinforcements were needed and the Reds decided to fill the void at right-back with the signing of Jordi Osei-Tutu on loan from Arsenal. 

The 22-year-old Gunners academy product enjoyed a good start to life last season on loan at Cardiff City, however a serious hamstring problem ruled him out for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign. Despite his poor injury record, Hughton decided to take a punt on the attacking minded full-back. 

The gamble looked to have paid off after an impressive debut at home against Bournemouth, in which he picked up the man of the match award but disaster struck once again at home to Blackburn Rovers just three days later. He limped off with yet another hamstring injury, and it remains unknown as to how serious his injury is. Osei-Tutu showed real promise and looks to be a quality addition. Hopefully he can return to full fitness after the current international break and claim the starting right-back position under Chris Hughton once again. 

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The big one. James Garner. Speculation was rumbling on all summer over the midfielder's future none more so than at his parent club Manchester United. Garner impressed for the Reds last season despite the poor league finish and was wanted by Hughton again this time around. The box-to-box midfielder scored on four separate occasions last campaign, prompting interest from a whole catalogue of Championship clubs.

He was unable to leave Old Trafford until he signed a new deal, and on August 22nd he penned a new three-year deal and immediately rejoined Hughton's men on loan. 

Garner made his second Forest debut in the East Midlands Derby last week and failed to make a real impact, but this was to be expected after not having a full pre-season with the Red Devils. He brings a different dimension into the holding midfield two, with his forward thinking nature and eye for a forward pass, so should he hit the heights of last season, he will be a top signing and propel Forest back towards the top end of the table come May.

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A signing that certainly caused a stir, was Max Lowe on a season-long loan from fellow second tier side Sheffield United. The injury to Osei-Tutu and the suspension of Gaetan Bong, meant that Forest had to move swiftly and decided to loan in the Derby Countyacademy graduate to the disgust of the Rams fans. He joined the blades in a joint deal with fellow ex Derby man Jayden Bogle in a deal worth up to £15 million, but only featured eight times in the Premier League last season. 

The 24-year-old is yet to feature after signing on Friday lunchtime, but was on the bench at Pride Park on Saturday afternoon. He is a very good addition in the full-back area, and provides a good option going forward as well as being solid defensively. Lowe looks set to be Hughton's first choice left-back this season, over 33-year-old Bong who has been told he can leave. 

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The first of three deadline day signings, was Braian Ojeda, Ojdea joins the club for a fee in the region of €2.3 million (£1.8 million) from Paraguayan club Olimpia

The 21-year-old will be unknown to many Forest fans, but the club have certainly got themselves a gem. He played a key role for Olimpia in the Copa Libertadores last season and is a very calm ball playing midfielder, who likes to progress the ball through the midfield into the striker and wide men, something which Forest have lacked so far this season. He isn't scared to drbble through the thirds and make third man runs in behind the central striker. 

A partnership of Ojeda and Garner in the holding midfield positions certainly gives Forest fans a reason to be excited, and hope that they can overturn the so far dismal start to the season. 

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The second man through the doors of the City Ground on deadline day was Tunisian international Mohamed Drager. The 25-year-old right-back comes in for the departed Jordan Gabriel, in a good all round deal for the club. 

Drager penned a two-year deal on a free transfer, meaning Forest made £700,000 profit whilst signing an international footballer with Champions League experience. The former Freiburg man is a rather unknown quantity, but could prove to be a useful addition especially after the injury to Osei-Tutu. Eyebrows may be raised due to the fact he has joined the club from Olympiacos, but Hughton is believed to be happy with the addition. 

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Xande Silva was the eighth and final signing for the Reds, after joining on  two-year deal from West Ham United for an undisclosed fee belived to be in the region of £250,000. 

The 24-year-old winger joined the Hammers for £3 million back in August 2018, but only went on to make one senior appearance at the London Stadium.

It was belived for long periods on Tuesday, that Josh Maja would be the new attacking signing for Hughton's men, but reports in France were wide of the mark with Maja staying at Bordeaux until January at the very least. 

As for Silva, he was loaned out to Aris Thessaloniki in Greece last season, where he made 26 starts, scoring only once. There is no doubt he hasn't fulfilled his potential in recent years, but his move to Trentside gives him a fresh start to hopefully reginite his career and play a key role in Forest side desperately lacking goals once more. 

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Best Business?

Despite the eight new faces coming in, the Reds best business this window was keeping hold of stars Brennan Johnson and Joe Worrall. The two academy graduates have been subject to multiple bids from top flight teams, with Brentord having three bids knocked back for Johnson, whilst Worrall was subject to interest from Burnley, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Ham. 

Forest runs in the family of both players, with Joe growing up locally as a Reds supporter and Brennan's dad David being one of the best strikers Forest have had in the last 20 years. The pair reiterated their desire to stay at the club this window, none more so than Saturday after the 1-1 draw away at Derby. 

Welsh international Johnson scored the crucial equalising goal, before grabbing the Forest crest on his shirt and celebrating with 2500 jubilant Reds fans. 

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Worrall was questioned about his future after the game and said: "There is always speculation. It's very flattering. If something happens, then great. If it doesn't, then I'm more than happy - I love it here at Forest."

Even though Forest finished 17th last season, they had the sixth best defensive record in the division, much of that was down to the partnership of Worrall and McKenna. The Reds academy graduate only played his first game of the season on Saturday after a calf problem, but picked up where he left off with his partnership with McKenna, with the pair barely looking troubled for the majority of the game.

The pair could prove to be pivotal for Hughton throughout the remainder of the season as they look to overturn the start that has seen them pick up just one point from the first five games. 

Overall, this window has been a successful one. 13 players out the door, with another eight coming in on significantly less wages. The only real disappointment would be the failure to bring in a new centre forward. Free agents will still be able to be signed after the deadline, but it looks as though Hughton will be sticking with Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban until January at least. 

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