Nottingham Forest’s owner Evangelos Marinakis executed a deliberate and calculated business plan by making seven signings in a single day, with an eighth signing made before Transfer Deadline Day. While some may view this as scatter-gun or reckless, sources close to Marinakis explain that it is a deliberate strategy based on his belief that the best players are available at the best prices when their transfer options are running out.
The signings were carefully chosen to avoid overlap and strengthen the squad overall. Goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos was a strategic acquisition, taking advantage of his falling out with his coach at Benfica. Forest saw an opportunity and paid £7.7m for his services. The fact that Vlachodimos arrived at the City Ground with his family shows that this was not a last-minute panic buy.
Two center-backs were also signed – Murillo from Corinthians and Andrew Omobamidele. Forest sees Murillo as a young talent with potential but expects him to take time to adapt to the UK culture and Premier League style of play. Omobamidele, on the other hand, is seen as a player who can adapt more quickly due to his experience in the Championship, Premier League, and international football with the Republic of Ireland. He provides crucial cover in Forest’s defense.
Forest acquired full-back Nuno Tavares on loan from Arsenal, with an option to buy him for £12m. Tavares, frustrated with a lack of opportunities at Arsenal, will have the chance to impress in Nottingham.
Two midfielders were signed – Ibrahim Sangare for a club-record fee of £30m and Nicolas Dominguez from Bologna. Sangare, considered a marquee signing, was welcomed with a special club TV video and has proven quality with 31 caps for Ivory Coast. Dominguez, who was captain at Bologna, signed a five-year contract and has represented Argentina 11 times since his international debut in 2019.
Forest made a shrewd signing in winger Callum Hudson-Odoi for £3m, with a possible £2m in add ons. Frustrated by a lack of opportunities at Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi is a full England international with a strong character and a desire to prove himself. His close relationship with Forest manager Steve Cooper, with whom he won the U17s World Cup, could be key to revitalizing his career.
To round off the signings, Forest secured striker Divock Origi, a player highly regarded by Liverpool fans. Origi, who scored in the Champions League final four years ago, had many suitors but Forest seized the opportunity when his other options diminished. Forest has first refusal to make his loan permanent if he performs well.
Nottingham Forest’s summer signings, including the above-mentioned players, totaled 15, with seven signed on Deadline Day. The club sold Brennan Johnson to Tottenham for £47.5m as he was a key target for Spurs following the departure of Harry Kane. Johnson, who made 108 appearances for Forest and scored 29 goals, played a crucial role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League and subsequent survival. The sale of Johnson helps Forest meet their Financial Fair Play requirements.
Now, the challenge for Steve Cooper is to integrate the new signings into the squad without disrupting the team’s fine balance. Forest already appear stronger and more competitive compared to last season, with narrow defeats to Arsenal and Manchester United but a much-needed victory over Sheffield United. Cooper will need to carefully utilize the vast array of new talent at his disposal to maximize their potential.