Rating Nottingham Forest’s Summer Transfers So Far

Grace Crispin

Nottingham Forest are finally back in the Premier League after a 23 year exodus and with their promotion, The Reds have been extremely active in the summer transfer window. So far this summer, six new names have made the move to the City Ground, but only time will tell how the new signings will fare in the top tier of English football.

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Neco Williams - 7/10

Welsh right-back Neco Williams signed a four year contract with Nottingham Forest, leaving his boyhood club Liverpool after 13 years at the club.

At only 21 years old, this signing could not only benefit Forest in their first season back in the Premier League, but also for many seasons to come. Despite his young age, Williams does have some experience playing at the highest level, making 13 appearances in the Premier League and seven appearances in the Champions League, scoring once in both competitions.

Williams has also got ample experience in international football as he consolidated his position in the Welsh national team, having now made 21 appearances, scoring twice.

Overall, though being a young prospect, his time with Liverpool and Wales suggests he will thrive in the Premier League, making him not only an impressive signing for now but also one with longevity.

Taiwo Awoniyi - 6/10

24 year old Taiwo Awoniyi has signed for Nottingham Forest from Union Berlin, where the forward had spent two seasons.

Awoniyi was also a Liverpool player from 2015 to 2021, but never made a single appearance for the club. Instead, he went on seven different loans before moving to Union Berlin permanently in 2021. These loans include clubs in the Belgian First Division A, the Eredivisie and the Bundesliga. The only club he spent more than one season at was Union Berlin, where the Nigerian scored 20 goals in 52 appearances.

Though he has a distinct lack of experience in English football, the extensive experience in a tough league like the Bundesliga should have prepared him somewhat for the Premier League - overall suggesting Awoniyi to be a positive signing.

Moussa Niakhate - 6/10

Moussa Niakhate signed for Forest from German team Mainz this summer after four years in the Bundesliga with the club.

The centre back made 128 appearances for Mainz, scoring nine goals in that time. In the 2021/22 season Niakhate conceded only 36 goals in 30 games, keeping nine clean sheets in that time. This equates to 1.26 goals per 90 minutes, a little more than Forest’s record of 0.87 average goals conceded per 90. However, Niakhate does have a good record in terms of discipline, averaging 0.04 bookings per 90, only being booked once in 30 games.

The Frenchman’s experience in both Germany and France (his time in Ligue 1 coming with Metz) should make him a reliable figure in Forest’s back line and an altogether good signing.

Omar Richards - 6/10

Left back or left wing back Omar Richards has swapped German Champions Bayern Munich for Nottingham Forest this transfer window.

The young Englishman, only 24 years old, spent the 2021/22 season with Bayern Munich, though only making 12 appearances for the club in the Bundesliga and a further four in the Champions League. Though he did keep a clean sheet in 50% of his Bundesliga appearances, only conceding an average of 1.03 goals per 90.

However, the large majority of his experience has come at Reading in the Championship. Richards spent four years at the club and made 92 appearances. In this time, the left back registered 28 clean sheets for the struggling Royals.

For the most part, the signing of Omar Richards seems a good one for The Reds, with experience in both England and Germany, the left back should be able to adapt to the Premier League.

Giulian Biancone - 6/10

Giulian Biancone is another French defender who has joined the Nottingham Forest ranks this summer.

Biancone has played all of his previous football in France and Belgium with Monaco, Cercle Brugge and Troyes. In the 2021/22 season with Troyes, Biancone played 33 matches and kept eight clean sheets, conceding an average of 1.26 goals per 90 minutes.

On the whole, Biancone could be a good signing for Nottingham Forest, but his lack of experience outside of France and Belgium could be an issue in relation to adapting to the Premier League.

Dean Henderson - 8/10

The Manchester United goalkeeper has only moved to Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan, but despite being unable to unseat David De Gea as United number one goalkeeper, Henderson still has a wealth of Premier League experience under his belt.

Henderson spent a two season stint at Sheffield United from 2018 to 2020, where in that time the Englishman registered 20 clean sheets in The Blades’ run to promotion in the 2018/19 season. In the Premier League, Henderson played 36 of the 38 possible games for Sheffield United, keeping an impressive 13 clean sheets for The Blades, coming fourth in the Golden Glove.

Though he’s only made a collective 13 appearances in the Premier League in the last two seasons, Henderson showed in his time at Sheffield United that he is Premier League quality. His clean sheets could prove important for Forest, making Henderson one of the best Forest signings this summer.

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