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Ticket Compare > All 43 of Nottingham Forest’s New Signings in the Premier League

All 43 of Nottingham Forest’s New Signings in the Premier League

Nottingham Forest are a football club with a rich history. Having won two consecutive European titles in 1979 and 1980, the midlands-based giants left a legacy on English football that hasn’t been matched since.

Unfortunately, after being relegated from the Premier League in 1993, the club suffered 23 years out of the limelight, playing in both the Championship and League One. Their fortunes changed in 2022 when they returned to the Premier League after winning the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield 1-0.

Following their promotion, Greek owner Evangelos Marinakis has been keen to ensure Forest has the best chances of staying in the top flight for the long haul by funding the club through numerous signings. In fact, Forest have made 43 signings in just 3 transfer windows since their return to the English top flight, which has raised some eyebrows and the attention of Premier League officials in regard to Financial Fair Play.

In this article, we’re going to discuss each one of Nottingham Forest’s new signings during their most recent Premier League tenure. We’ll discuss the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Morgan Gibbs White and most recently, Gio Reyna. Read on to learn more.

Nottingham Forest’s New Signings in the Premier League

Here’s a list of all 43 signings made by Nottingham Forest from July 2022 to February 2024:

  1. Taiwo Awoniyi
  2. Dean Henderson
  3. Giulian Biancone
  4. Moussa Niakhaté
  5. Omar Richards
  6. Neco Williams
  7. Wayne Hennessey
  8. Harry Toffolo
  9. Lewis O’Brien
  10. Jesse Lingard
  11. Orel Mangala
  12. Cheikhou Kouyaté
  13. Emmanuel Dennis
  14. Remo Freuler
  15. Morgan Gibbs-White
  16. Renan Lodi
  17. Willy Boly
  18. Josh Bowler
  19. Loïc Badé
  20. Serge Aurier
  21. Adnan Kanuric
  22. Gustavo Scarpa
  23. Danilo
  24. Jonjo Shelvey
  25. Keylor Navas
  26. Felipe
  27. André Ayew
  28. Chris Wood
  29. Ola Aina
  30. Anthony Elanga
  31. Matt Turner
  32. Gonzalo Montiel
  33. Murillo
  34. Odysseas Vlachodimos
  35. Divock Origi
  36. Ibrahim Sangaré
  37. Callum Hudson-Odoi
  38. Nicolás Domínguez
  39. Nuno Tavares
  40. Andrew Omobamidele
  41. Giovanni Reyna
  42. Rodrigo Ribeiro
  43. Matz Sels

1. Taiwo Awoniyi

The first of Nottingham Forest’s new signings in the Premier League was striker Taiwo Awoniyi. Born in Nigeria, the forward signed from Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin after scoring 20 goals in 43 matches during the 2021/22 season.

Signing for a reported £17 million, Awoniyi quickly became a fan favourite, returning 11 goals in 30 appearances for the club in their maiden season back in the Premier League.

2. Dean Henderson

England international goalkeeper Dean Henderson was second through the door at the City Ground. Arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester United, “Hendo” became one of Nottingham Forest’s fan’s favourite signings, making crucial saves, including a penalty save against non-other than Harry Kane.

Unfortunately, Henderson suffered an injury halfway through the season, which meant that he only made 20 appearances for the club during the 2022/23 campaign.

3. Giulian Biancone

French defender Giulian Biancone joined Nottingham Forest on 3rd July 2022 from Troyes. Able to play as both a right-back and centre-back, Biancone was signed to provide some cover in defensive positions. Unfortunately, the defender only made 3 appearances for the reds after suffering a horrific ruptured ACL in October 2022.

The player has since signed for Greek side Olympiacos, another club owned by Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis’.

4. Moussa Niakhaté

The Bundesliga became a hotspot for Nottingham Forest’s new signings, with scout George Syrianos having a huge say in the club’s transfer activity. His background in German football helped him secure moves for Taiwo Awonoyi, Orel Mangala and Mainz defender and captain Moussa Niakhaté.

Niakhaté is an agile defender, who can comfortably play out from the back and has even been known to score a penalty or two.

5. Omar Richards

Another defensive signing from Germany brought Omar Richards to Trent side, after signing from Bayern Munich in a deal worth €8.5 million. Unfortunately, upon his arrival, Richards suffered a fractured shin a mere couple of weeks into his time at the club. This has meant that he made 0 appearances for the club during the 2022/23 season.

He’s now on loan at Olympiacos for the 2023/24 trying to regain some match fitness.

6. Neco Williams

Another fullback signed by Nottingham Forest during their Premier League reign was Neco Williams. A flexible player, who can play on both flanks, he arrived from Liverpool in a deal worth up to £16 million.

He arrived at the club with some pedigree, too, having worked his way up the ranks at Liverpool to first team football. He spent 15 years at the club, before realising that his opportunities were limited behind Trent Alexander Arnold and Andy Robertson.

7. Wayne Hennessey

Another Welsh international joined Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2022. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey joined as the back-up keeper option for Dean Henderson ahead of the Premier League season.

Although he only featured 9 times during the 2022/23 season, he added lots of experience to the Forest dressing room, which would’ve been a contributing factor to why the club eventually avoided relegation.

8. Harry Toffolo

Nottingham Forest also raided their play-off final opponents Huddersfield Town to recruit some new players in 2022. The first arrival from Huddersfield was left-back Harry Toffolo. Although he saw his opportunities limited in his first Premier League season, the English left-back has played an important role in the 2023/24 season.

9. Lewis O’Brien

Central midfielder Lewis O’Brien followed his teammate Harry Toffolo to Forest in a joint deal worth up to £10 million. Although O’Brien started his Forest career brightly, he quickly found himself dropping down the pecking order.

At the time, it felt like Forest had made these signings as an insurance policy in case the club was relegated from the Premier League.

For the 2023/24 season O’Brien finds himself on loan at Championship side Middlesborough, maybe he can work his way back into the picture at Forest under new manager Nuno Santo next season?

10. Jesse Lingard

Possibly the most high profile of Nottingham Forest’s new signings was Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard. Plagued by injuries and a lack of playing time, the England international moved to the midlands with a hope to regain some of the form he showcased whilst playing on loan for West Ham in 2021.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be, with Lingard making 20 appearances for the club and scoring just 2 goals.

Forest deemed the investment in Lingard not beneficial, and therefore cut ties with the player following the conclusion of the 2022/23 season.

11. Orel Mangala

The 11th player through the revolving door at Nottingham Forest was Belgian international midfielder Orel Mangala. Naturally a press-resistant midfielder, Mangala was someone who excelled at getting out of tight spaces under pressure.

He became the most consistent performer for Forest during the first half of the 2023/24 season, however a lucrative bid came in from Ligue 1 side Lyon in January 2024, which saw Mangala leave the club for a reported deal worth up to £30 million plus add-ons.

12. Cheikhou Kouyaté

A Premier League veteran was next through the door of the City Ground in Cheikhou Kouyaté. After amassing 258 appearances in England’s top flight, Forest were keen to add a player with significant Premier League experience. They found their man and were able to secure him on a free transfer after his contract had ended at Crystal Palace.

Kouyaté made 21 important appearances for Forest during their 2022/23 Premier League campaign, including an iconic home win against Liverpool in the league.

13. Emmanuel Dennis

At this stage in the recruitment timeline, Forest believed they were lacking firepower in the final third. They bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Emmanuel Dennis, familiar to Premier League enthusiasts because of his eye-catching performances for Watford.

For one reason or another, things just didn’t seem to click for Dennis at Forest. There were some incredibly bright moments, including goals against Newcastle and Aston Villa, but he ended up being sent out on loan a few times to try and find some regular playing time.

14. Remo Freuler

Forest went shopping in Italy next, recruiting midfielder Remo “The Conducter” Freuler, who joined the club on August 14th 2022 for an initial fee of £7.6m. With high expectations, Freuler had a mixed reception during his time at the club.

Fans argued that he struggled to adapt to the speed of the Premier League, having previously played in Serie A, which is renowned for operating at a slower tempo. Although he made 33 appearances across all competitions during the 2022/23 season, Freuler was shipped out to Bologna ahead of the 2023/24 season, to the likening of some Forest fans.

15. Morgan Gibbs-White

Arguably the most significant signing in Nottingham Forest’s more recent history is English attacker Morgan Gibbs-White. Having joined the club for an initial fee of £25 million, Gibbs-White was, manager at the time, Steve Cooper’s top target in the summer window.

Forest got their man on the 19th August 2022, and he has been worth every penny. The talisman of the side, it feels like everything that’s positive goes through him on the pitch. He remains at the club during the 2023/24 season, however, with hopes of an England call-up, and suitors higher up the table in Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, it looks like Forest could find themselves in a position where they have to sell their prized asset in the near future.

16. Renan Lodi

The first of many Brazilians signed by Nottingham Forest during their most recent Premier League era was left-back Renan Lodi. The Brazilian international joined the club on loan from Atlético Madrid, demonstrating a real statement of intent from the club.

Lodi became a fan favourite, making 32 appearances and scoring a vital goal in the Carabao Cup against Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately, a deal couldn’t be made to make the player’s transfer permanent, and he instead moved to Marseille in the summer of 2023.

17. Willy Boly

Wolves defender Willy Boly joined Forest on 1st September 2022 on a two-year contract. The experienced defender stands at 6 ft 5, providing some real height across the Nottingham Forest defensive line.

This proved to be a shrewd pickup by the club, with Boly putting in some match-winning performances during their first and second season back in the Premier League.

18. Josh Bowler

A signing that may have confused Forest fans was Blackpool winger Josh Bowler. Someone who was linked with the club during their time in the Championship, he joined for a £4 million fee on the 1st September 2022.

Thought of as a potential replacement for Brennan Johnson if Forest were to be relegated from the Premier League, he was immediately shipped out to Olympiacos on loan. The player is currently on loan at Cardiff, and hopes to make his Premier League debut one day.

19. Loïc Badé

Perhaps a missed opportunity for Nottingham Forest was new signing Loïc Badé. The young defender joined on loan from Stade Rennais, and was tipped to have a bright future. Manager Steve Cooper didn’t agree, failing to give the player a single competitive start during his time at the club.

He has since gone on to play for Sevilla, where he has played 45 times, including 8 appearances in Europe. The majority of Forest fans would agree that Steve Cooper missed a trick with this one.

20. Serge Aurier

A familiar Premier League name walked through the doors on Trent side with defender Serge Aurier joining the club on a free transfer after his contract at Villarreal came to an end. The player was a reliable figure at Forest, demonstrating his defensive abilities, whilst also chipping in with a couple of assists and a goal of his own against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw at the City Ground.

21. Adnan Kanuric

One of Nottingham Forest’s new signings which will have gone under the radar was goalkeeper Adnan Kanuric. The Austrian was signed from Bosnian Premier League Sarajevo, and was viewed as a player with potential.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t meant to be the case, as he went on loan to Oxford United before being released by Forest at the end of the 2022/23 season.

22. Gustavo Scarpa

A signing that caught the attention of Forest fans was Brazilian Gustavo Scarpa. Signed on a free transfer from Brazilian side Palmeiras, the playmaker won over fans with his skateboarding antics and his love for the Rubik’s Cube.

Unfortunately, his performances didn’t match the hype surrounding him, seeing him quickly drop down the pecking order under manager Steve Cooper. After being sent on loan to Olympiacos, the player was sold to Atlético Mineiro for a reported €5 million fee, which was pure profit for Forest.

23. Danilo

The 23rd new signing made by Nottingham Forest during their time in the Premier League was another Brazilian midfielder. The signing of Gustavo Scarpa had clearly helped them lure young talent Danilo to the club, as he followed the player from Palmeiras.

In a deal worth an estimated £16 million, Danilo put in high-level performances during the back end of the 2022/23 campaign, which would indicate Forest got more than their money’s worth.

24. Jonjo Shelvey

A surprise move saw Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey join the Forest ranks in January 2023. After making a couple of key errors in Premier League matches, fans didn’t see him as a starter, and neither did manager Steve Cooper. This led to an argument between the player and manager and eventually Shelvey’s ousting from the squad.

After Forest had already loaned out too many players, they found themselves terminating Shelvey’s contract when he joined Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor in 2023.

25. Keylor Navas

After Dean Henderson suffered a thigh injury, Forest found themselves scouring the market for another first-choice goalkeeper. Forest fans couldn’t believe their eyes when Keylor Navas joined the club on loan from Paris Saint Germain for the rest of the season.

He was a mainstay between the sticks, helping Forest seal their Premier League safety.

26. Felipe

A theme had started to develop by the time Brazilian defender Felipe joined Forest from Atlético Madrid. The fourth Brazilian through the door, the player had a phenomenal second half of the season for the reds, being a brick wall in the centre of defence.

He became a clear fan favourite during Forest’s Premier League survival run in, through his combative performances.

27. André Ayew

Perhaps one of the most underwhelming of Nottingham Forest’s Premier League signings was Ghanaian forward André Ayew. Having previously worked with manager Steve Cooper at Swansea, Cooper wanted to bring in some reliable faces who he could trust to keep the club in the Premier League.

Forest fans were a little less enthusiastic about this signing, with Ayew missing a penalty against Tottenham, as well as his performances suggesting that he wasn’t dynamic enough to compete in the modern day Premier League.

28. Chris Wood

Forest arguably did Newcastle United another favour by signing striker Chris Wood in the January transfer window of 2023. After securing the services of Jonjo Shelvey, Forest took on approximately £155k in wages from the two players, according to Capology.

The signing of Wood proved to be underwhelming at best during the latter half of the 2022/23 season, with the player scoring 1 goal in 7 appearances, whilst also picking up a hamstring injury.

His fortunes changed during the first half of the 2023/24 season, though, with the player scoring 10 goals in 31 matches across all competitions. This tally included an incredible hat trick against ex-club Newcastle.

29. Ola Aina

The first new Nottingham Forest signing of the 2023/24 signing was Nigerian defender Ola Aina. Previously of Chelsea, Fulham and Torino, the player arrived on a free transfer, which looks to be shrewd business for the reds.

30. Anthony Elanga

Forest showed their ambition when they signed young Swedish forward Anthony Elanga from Manchester United in a deal worth up to £15 million. After beating a host of clubs to his signature, Elanga immediately made an impact, providing an assist for Taiwo Awoniyi with his first appearance for the club against Arsenal on the first day of the season.

By January 2024, the player had recorded 10 goal involvements in the Premier League (4 goals and 6 assists).

31. Matt Turner

After the loan of Dean Henderson wasn’t made into a permanent transfer, Nottingham Forest were in the market for a new goalkeeper ahead of the 2023/24 Premier League season. On the 9th August 2023, 3 days before their opening fixture against Arsenal, the club signed their opponent’s second-choice goalkeeper in Matt Turner.

They acquired the US number 1 in a deal worth £10 million. Although he appeared to settle into the team quickly, things soon turned sour for the player after making several high-profile mistakes, which cost Forest vital points.

The fans turned on the player, deeming him surplus to requirements and suggesting that he was a bad signing to the recruitment department. As of February 2024, Turner finds himself second-choice behind Matz Sels, so he’ll have to fight for his place back in the side.

32. Gonzalo Montiel

Forest fans might have laughed at you, if you were to suggest that they would sign the 2022 World Cup winning penalty taker. That’s exactly what happened, though, when Argentinian international Gonzalo Montiel walked through the door on August 23rd, 2023.

A right back who plays with passion on his sleeve, he quickly built a relationship with fellow compatriot Nicolás Domínguez.

33. Murillo

One of the most exciting Nottingham Forest signings for a generation has to be Brazilian centre-back Murillo. After only making his senior debut for Corinthians on 26th April 2023, Forest swooped in and signed the player in a deal worth up to €15 million with add-ons.

With a background of playing futsal, Murillo has everything you could possibly want from a modern day defender. He is left-footed, incredibly strong, really quick and can play under pressure with ease.

Although it’s early days for the player, it’s quite clear to see that he is destined for the very top. This means that Forest can expect to sell him for a handsome profit in the future.

34. Odysseas Vlachodimos

Forest weren’t done in the goalkeeping department, either, after signing Greek international goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos on the 1st September 2023. With owner Evangelos Marinakis hailing from Greece, it felt like it would be a matter of time before a Greek international was brought to Nottingham.

What Matt Turner lacked in his distribution, Vlachodimos lacked in his shot-stopping abilities. By this time, it appeared that Forest had been unable to buy a keeper worthy of being a Premier League number 1.

35. Divock Origi

Famous for vital Champions League and Merseyside derby goals, striker Divock Origi joined the Nottingham Forest ranks in a surprise deadline day move on September 1st. However, it appears that the player has left his best days behind him, looking sluggish and off the pace following his time at AC Milan.

36. Ibrahim Sangaré

None of Nottingham Forest’s new signings were as pivotal as Ibrahim Sangaré during the 2023 summer transfer window. A player Forest had been chasing for years, the central midfielder, joined the club in a deal worth €35 million.

The move was only made possible after academy star Brennan Johnson was allowed to leave the club, joining Tottenham for a club record sale of £47.5 million.

Although he hasn’t hit the ground running, it’s clear that Sangaré has the potential to become a top Premier League midfielder.

37. Callum Hudson-Odoi

A proud owner of a Champions League winner’s medal, Callum Hudson-Odoi also joined Forest on deadline day. With bags of potential, the player had seen his opportunities limited after a run of injuries, however Forest made the move to sign the player for a surprisingly small fee of £3 million with £2 million in potential add-ons.

38. Nicolás Domínguez

Signed as part of a deal that would see midfielder Remo Freuler join Serie A side Bologna, Nicolás Domínguez moved the other way and joined Forest. It became clear early on that Forest had swapped a player lacking dynamism with one that could adapt to the demands of the Premier League with ease.

39. Nuno Tavares

A player familiar with the City Ground is full-back Nuno Tavares. After being hooked on 35 minutes during an FA Cup match against Forest in 2022, he will have had various bad memories coming to mind when Nottingham Forest showed an interest in signing him during the 2023 summer transfer window.

40. Andrew Omobamidele

The September 2023 transfer deadline day saw Nottingham Forest make an impressive seven signings, including Irish defender Andrew Omobamidele. Born in 2002, the 21-year-old was deemed to be a signing for the future, being part of a long-term vision for the club.

He made his first team debut in the FA Cup 3rd round replay vs. Blackpool on 17th Jan 2024 and has impressed fans and manager Nuno Espírito Santo ever since.

41. Giovanni Reyna

After their previous transfer deadline day, all eyes were on Nottingham Forest in the last few days of the January 2024 window. With it being made clear that we were unlikely to see something similar, the club aimed to add quality over quantity, hoping to sign a winger, striker and goalkeeper.

The first new signing Nottingham Forest made in January was US international Gio Reyna from Borussia Dortmund. Son of Premier League legend Claudio Reyna, the transfer was made possible by football super agent Jorge Mendes, who had recently started working with Forest again.

Signed on a loan deal until the end of the season, this on paper has to be one of the best signings Nottingham Forest made since being back in the Premier League.

42. Rodrigo Ribeiro

A surprise addition to the Forest ranks was young Portuguese striker Rodrigo Ribeiro. At the ripe age of 18, this again was a signing made with long term planning at the forefront of Forest’s thinking.

Although he was signed on an initial loan deal, Forest can make the deal permanent if they like what they see from the player.

43. Matz Sels

Nottingham Forest hope that they have finally solved their goalkeeping crisis with the capture of Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels from RC Strasbourg. Signed for £5 million, he has significant domestic experience in Ligue 1 while also having played a run of games for the Belgian national side.

After the issues they’d faced with both Matt Turner and Odysseas Vlachodimos, the capture of Sels would’ve been a delight for the fans of the club on deadline day.

Conclusion

There we have it, a complete guide to all 43 of Nottingham Forest’s new signings in the Premier League. Although it might seem ridiculous that they’ve brought in so many players, this is the result of a club who’ve been out of England’s top flight for 23 years, that has an ambitious owner who wants to be successful in England.

Image credit: Nottingham Forest FC City Ground by Mat Fascione, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Signings Did Forest Make?

Nottingham Forest have made 43 signings since their promotion back to the Premier League in 2022. In their first season back, they made 28 signings and 15 in the second. All of these signings caught the attention of journalists and fans across the world.

Have Nottingham Forest Signed a Goalkeeper?

Yes, Nottingham Forest have signed many goalkeepers since their return to the Premier League. In fact, they signed the following five keepers:

1. Dean Henderson (season long loan – 2022/23)
2. Keylor Navas (6-month loan – 2023)
3. Matt Turner (4 year contract)
4. Odysseas Vlachodimos (4 year contract)
5. Matz Sels (3.5 year contract)

How Much Has Nottingham Forest Spent?

After securing promotion back to the Premier League in 2022, Nottingham Forest spent £150 million on new players in order to compete in one of the most competitive leagues in world football.

Chris Goodacre

Written by Chris Goodacre

Chris Goodacre is a specialist football writer at Ticket-Compare, a podcast host and a coach with a passion for the beautiful game. His in-depth articles provide insightful analysis and are a trusted source of football information for fans across the world. Having been a co-host on a dedicated football podcast and an FA Level 1 Coaching badge holder, Chris combines his extensive knowledge with a genuine passion for the game. Enjoy Chris’ perspective on the world of football.