Nottingham Forest transfers: List of signings of wild summer window as Steve Cooper’s men set Premier League record

NxGn 2019 Morgan Gibbs White Wolves

Nottingham Forest finally secured their place in the Premier League ahead of the 2022/23 season after being outside the English top flight for over two decades.

Steve Cooper has been heavily backed in the transfer market by owner Evangelos Marinakis as the Welsh boss looks to find a path to safety this season.

As part of a major makeover of his squad, Cooper has spent around £146m ($168.6m), the fifth-highest amount by a Premier League club this summer.

Only Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United have spent more than Forest, who have set a UK record with 21 signings in a single window.

It’s been a wild summer on the City Ground…

MORE: When does the winter transfer window open? Important dates for January 2023 in the Premier League, La Liga and other European leagues

Nottingham Forest transfers: Summer 2022/23 signings

Forest signed 21 new players before the September 2 transfer window closed. They could add to that tally if a reported agreement with Serge Aurier is ratified. Here are the players who got them:

Morgan Gibbs-White

  • Signed by: wolves
  • Fee: £25m/$28.9m

Gibbs-White’s move from Wolves broke Forest’s transfer record for the second time this summer.

The 22-year-old’s career had stalled at Molineux with teenage promises marred by injuries and he faces a real battle to get his career back on track under the pressure of a huge transfer fee. Still, he was reportedly Cooper’s priority post-promotion target.

Taiwo Awoniyi

  • Signed by: Union Berlin
  • Fee: £18.5m/$21.4m

Nigeria international Awoniyi broke Joao Carvalho’s previous transfer record set in 2018 when he caught the eye with 15 Bundesliga goals in the German capital in 2021/22.

A top scorer was highlighted as a key goal for Cooper ahead of the season opener and Awoniyi scored his first Forest goal in the 1–0 win over West Ham. The 25-year-old is aiming for double-digit numbers in the coming months.

Neko Williams

  • Signed by: Liverpool
  • Fee: £18m/$20.8m

Wales international Williams decided to make the move to the City Ground after feeling frustrated with his first-team chances at Anfield.

Cooper was targeting Williams to replace Djed Spence after his impressive role on loan in their promotion campaign and Williams’ strong start suggests he will be a key player at Forest.

Emmanuel Dennis

  • Signed by: Watford
  • Fee: £13.3m/$15.4m

Dennis’ 10 goals for Watford in the 2021/22 season kept the Hornets in the race for survival last season and Cooper rushed to add more top-flight experience to his ranks.

The former Club Brugge hitman is likely to be brought on as a backup by Cooper as his overall goals record leaves some uncertainties about his suitability for a regular start.

Orel Mangala

  • Signed by: Stuttgart
  • Fee: £11.7m/$13.5m

Mangala has made a name for himself with Stuttgart as one of the best all-around midfielders in the Bundesliga.

Much like William’s role as Spence’s replacement, Cooper moved to Mangala to offer more control in midfield following James Garner’s return to Manchester United and subsequent move to Everton.

He has entered directly into the Forest engine room with a partnership alongside new signing Lewis O’Brien as part of a double swap.

Mussa Niakhate

  • Signed by: Mainz
  • Fee: £9m/$10.4m

Superb centre-back Niakhate faces a battle for a regular place in Forest’s defence, with Cooper opting for a back three/five in the opening games of 2022/23.

Club captain Joe Worrall is Forest’s first choice alongside Scotland international Scott McKenna and teammate Willy Boly brings Premier League experience that could give him an advantage in the pecking order.

Giulian Biancone

  • Signed by: troyes
  • fee: £9m/$10.4m

Biancone is in a similar position to Niakhate as he struggles to get into the Forest starting XI this season.

The France full-back has adaptability on his side as he can play at right-back or in midfield, but Williams appear to have nailed that spot to give the 22-year-old a tough test this season.

Lewis O’Brien

  • Signed by: Huddersfield Town
  • Fee: £8.7M/$10.1M

Forest returned to haunt Huddersfield last month after edging out The Terriers in the playoff final with a double-take to sign O’Brien and Harry Toffolo.

A constant presence for Huddersfield last season, O’Brien appears well positioned for promotion in the Premier League, with Cooper directing his energy at the base of Forest’s midfield.

Remo Freuler

  • Signed by: Atalanta
  • Fee: £8.1m/$9.4m

There was a certain cynicism associated with Freuler’s move from Atalanta to Forest given the Serie A side had become a Champions League force in recent seasons.

Despite missing out on the 2022/23 competition, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are still among the strongest in Italy and Freuler’s move has drawn criticism from some quarters as it was suspected that financial gain was the main reason behind it.

He adds crucial experience to Cooper’s side and his versatility will be important in the post-World Championship schedule.

Omar Richards

  • Signed by: Bayern Munich
  • Fee: £7.6m/$8.8m

Richards decided to return to English football this summer after a volatile spell with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Cooper will look to rekindle the promise he showed as an attacking full-back at Reading in 2020/21, although a pre-season injury disrupted his progress.

Renan Lodi

  • Signed by: Atlético Madrid
  • Fee: £4.5m/$5.2m rental fee

The arrival of Brazil international Lodi was a move from Cooper to left field after failing to sign Real Betis left-back Alex Moreno.

Renan Lodi Atlético Madrid

Lodi slipped down the pecking order at Madrid last season but his arrival is a real coup for Forest as he is flexible enough to play as a full-back and more adventurous full-back alongside a wealth of La Liga and Champions League experience.

Hwang Ui-jo

  • Signed by: Bordeaux
  • Fee: £3.6M/$4.2M

South Korea international Hwang scored 29 goals in Ligue 1 in three seasons with Bordeaux before Cooper brought him to Nottingham.

However, Forest decided to loan him out to Olympiakos shortly after signing him for the season.

Harry Toffolo

  • Signed by: Huddersfield Town
  • Fee: £2.6m/$3m

Toffolo joined O’Brien in trading West Yorkshire for the East Midlands after Huddersfield’s play-off defeat, and Cooper has thrown him in at the deep end of Premier League football.

The 27-year-old hasn’t adapted as quickly as O’Brien and the signings of Lodi and Richards could threaten his long-term place.

Willy Bally

  • Signed by: wolves
  • fee: £2.3M/$2.7M

Boly caused controversy when he refused to appear for Wolves’ 1-1 Premier League draw with Newcastle United as he attempted to complete a move to Forest.

Welcome to Nottingham Forest Willy Boly ❤️#NFFC | #PL

— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) September 1, 2022

Cooper signed for the Ivory Coast international on deadline day and his familiarity with playing in a Premier League back three could see him in the starting XI quickly.

josh bowler

  • Signed by: Blackpool
  • Fee: £2.1m/$2.4m

The man who became the record-breaking 20th signing of the summer window, Bowler, like Hwang, was immediately loaned out to Olympiakos after Forest secured his transfer.

Brandon Aguilera

  • Signed by: Alajuelense
  • Fee: £850,000/$984,000

Forest secured a deal to sign Aguilera from Costa Rica’s Alajuelense after an impressive loan spell at Guanacasteca in 2021/22 and he returned to the latter on a new loan deal after signing a long-term deal at the City Ground.

Jess Lingard

  • Signed by: Free agent
  • Fee: none

Lingard left Manchester United when his contract expired after failing to fight his way back into the first team after an impressive loan spell at West Ham.

Jess Lingard

Cooper will be looking to get the best out of the England international this season and his crucial goals at West Ham show he can make a decisive impact in the last third of the pitch.

Cheihou Kouyate

  • Signed by: Free agent
  • Fee: none

Kouyate is enjoying a ninth consecutive season in the Premier League after signing a two-year deal with Forest after his Crystal Palace contract expired.

The 32-year-old has made over 30 top-flight appearances in seven of the last eight campaigns at West Ham and Palace and will provide equalization alongside O’Brien and Mangala.

Wayne Hennessy

  • Signed by: Free agent
  • Fee: none

Hennessey brings experience from almost 200 Premier League games after agreeing to a free transfer following his exit from relegated Burnley.

The 35-year-old will play a backup role for Dean Henderson but Cooper will try to draw on his experience of battling relegation should Forest struggle in 2023.

Loïc Bade

  • Signed by: Rennes
  • Fee: None (loan)

Bade, the record-breaking and final signing of Forest’s frenetic window, joined from Rennes for the 2022/23 season after making just 15 appearances for the club in Ligue 1 since joining last year

Dean Henderson (Manchester United – Loan)

  • Signed by: Manchester United
  • Fee: None (loan)

Henderson’s outburst over allegedly broken promises regarding his role in the United first-team meant his departure from Old Trafford was hardly a surprise.

“Nobody followed everything they told me. I turned down a lot of loans.”

“Wasting 12 months is criminal at my age.”

Dean Henderson strikes #MUFC in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT. ????

Everyone is talking about it ???? pic.twitter.com/3CTYoiNwKP

— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 2, 2022

The England international claimed the club had backed away from their commitment to promote him ahead of David de Gea as No1 for the Red Devils at the start of last season.

His decision to take another loan move from Manchester is certainly Forest’s win as he will be motivated to perform ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Saving penalties from Declan Rice and Harry Kane earlier this season was certainly a good way to endear yourself to Forest fans – and win the admiration of England boss Gareth Southgate.

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