One of the new promoted teams in EPL this season, Nottingham Forest, has been bracing themselves for their Premier League return with their aggressive summer transfer.
The Forest has been one of the few teams in Premier League which have secured more than five deals in this summer transfer window so far. They do not waste their time to bolster the squad not only to stay in the top tier but can compete well at least in the mid table.
Overall, they have spent €69 million for their new signings. They are the forward Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin, the right back Giulian Biancone from Troyes, the former Liverpool defender, Neco Williams, England U21 versatile left back Omar Richards, the ex-Mainz centre back, Moussa Niakhate and the goalkeeper, Dean Henderson who moved on loan from Manchester United.
At the same time, the club also sold the goalie Brice Samba to RC Lens and released six players from the last season's squad including the 34-year old frontman, Lewis Grabban, defender Tobias Figueiredo, centre back Carl Jenkinson, the senior left back, Gaetan Bong plus USMNT reserve goalie, Ethan Horvath.
The Forest boss, Steve Cooper, would be very pleased with the reinforcement. The former England U17 manager who brought Phil Foden and Co to lift their first ever World Cup U17 trophy back in 2017 is likely to deploy the 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-1-2 formation, just like what he did in the Championship last season. Those signings could be the great addition to the squad which still relies on more domestic names. Cooper hopes his team would not have disappointing campaign in his debut.
So, how would his line-up be then, should they no longer chase other names to snatch in this transfer window? Dean Henderson is definitely the number one between the sticks. At the backline, Moussa Niakhate is one of the main defenders in back three alongside Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna.
Meanwhile, in the midfield, Ryan Yates and Jack Colback or 21-year old James Garner might still be Cooper's first choice as the defensive midfielder and box-to-box one respectively. Garner even racked up four goals and eight assists while Colback could play wide on the left side. Giulian Biancone is likely to replace Djed Spence as the right back, should he seal a move to Spurs this season. The former Troyes man contributed one goal and two assists in Ligue 1 last season. Max Lowell and Richie Laryea will be his cover. Both can feature in both flanks. There is also Omar Richards who featured in 17 matches with Bayern in all competitions throughout 2021/22 season.
On the attacking side, Taiwo Awoniyi is set to be the main frontman. He bagged 20 goals and provided five assists in all competitions with Union Berlin last season. He will gain support from Welsh international Brennan Johnson and possibly Philip Zinckernagel. The former netted 18 times plus made ten assists while the latter scored six goals and provided assists in 2021/22. Their backup would be Joe Lolley and two youngsters, Keenan Davis and Sam Surridge.
Will Steve Cooper stop to make signings now or there will be more to come to City Ground and will they manage to thrive in EPL? It will be too early to answer. Yet, one thing is certain, the two time European Cup (older version of UEFA Champions League) winner has all it takes and is ready to challenge their contenders for EPL.