Nottingham Forest, a return to PL with millions –

It took 23 years for Nottingham Forest to return to the elite of English football. Determined to stay there, the club has spent lavishly this summer. More

A promoter who stands out

Among the three newcomers to the Premier League, Nottingham has a different strategy and means. If we look at Bournemouth, the workforce has changed little despite the lift. There have been loan endings like those of Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool) or Ethan Laird (Manchester United), but the main idea is to rely on the men on the rise. Only Marcos Senesi and Marcus Tavernier, recruited for nearly 27 million euros, were bought to refine the 11.

In office since September 2021, Steve Cooper faces a serious puzzle to define the 11 of Nottingham Forest.  (Icon Sports)
In office since September 2021, Steve Cooper faces a serious puzzle to define the 11 of Nottingham Forest. (Icon Sports)

For Fulham, there have been a few more moves. The departure of Fabio Carvalho has been more than compensated. Not counting the loans, more than 61 million euros were spent to enlist Joao Palinha, Issa Diop, Andreas Pereira, Kevin Mbabu, Carlos Vinicius and Bernd Leno. One thing is certain, the Londoners have strengthened themselves. But then what about Nottingham Forest, which has spent more than 160 million euros?

Nottingham Forest particularly fueled the transfer window

By obtaining the loan of Loïc Badé from Rennes, Forest formalized a 21st recruit this summer. A record for the Premier League. The costliest recruits are Morgan Gibbs-White (€29.5m), Taiwo Awoniyi (€20.5m) and Neco Williams (€20m). Besides Badé, several French have tried the adventure, namely Moussa Niakhate, Giulian Biancone and the Franco-Ivorian Willy Boly. If the majority of arrivals have been bought, we can still note several interesting loans or free transfers, such as those of Renan Lodi, Dean Henderson, Jesse Lingard or Cheikhou Kouyaté. In the direction of departures, only Brice Samba and Nuno Da Costa were sold, for a total of 7 million euros. Suffice to say that the balance of transfers from Nottingham bathes deeply in the negative.

In comparison with the rest of the Premier League residents, only three clubs have a balance even more in the red than that of the promoted. These are Chelsea (-227 M€), Manchester United (-226 M€) and West Ham (-164 M€).

Recruiting at all costs to maintain yourself, a good formula?

Benefit from many reinforcements, is it an advantage to perpetuate its place in the elite? Not necessarily if we look at the fate of the promoted from the 2021-22 season. During this exercise, including the January market, the Londoners of Watford had welcomed 18 new faces! Few expensive transfers (Imrân Louza at 10 M€ for the most expensive), but all the same a deeply modified workforce. Finally, the Hornets will finish in 19th place, 15 points behind Leeds, the first non-relegation player. Similar observation for Norwich. Again, we are far from the means of Forest today, but with 11 arrivals, the Canaries had finished as a red lantern in the Premier League.

In the end, only Brentford had managed to hold on. 13th at the end of the 38 days, Thomas Frank had only counted 7 recruits for such a feat. Two seasons ago, Fulham had also failed to stay in the first division, despite a transfer window that had been talked about at the time. Big reason for hope on the other hand, Crystal Palace, holder of the previous record for the number of recruits on the same window, with 17 arrivals in the summer of 2013, had managed to maintain itself by winning an honorable 11th place. After 5 days of the championship, Nottingham is in 15th place in the championship. Nothing exceptional, but the Reds have for the moment the merit of respecting the objective of maintaining. Moreover, they have already played Manchester City and Tottenham. Other formations have shown more shortcomings at this start of hostilities, but everything remains to be done in a fight that promises to be tough.

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