After signing 21 players, is there room for sentiment at Nottingham Forest?

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Having spent 23 years on the outside of a Premier League party, Nottingham Forest were always going to start splashing the cash once forcing their way beyond top-flight bouncers once more.

Having waited so long to rejoin English football’s most prestigious VIP lounge, the Reds intend to make their presence felt. With a £100 million promotion-winning windfall burning a serious hole in their pockets, those at the City Ground were quick to embark on the most elaborate of spending sprees.


Plenty of questions have been asked of whether the right approach has been taken, with support in betting tips today already proving hard to come by just a matter of weeks into the 2022-23 campaign. For some, money has been spent with the kind of abandon that has a tendency to deliver disastrous consequences.

Forest had little choice, though, but to both speculate and accumulate on the grandest of scales. After bidding farewell to an assortment of loanees, while releasing a number of other senior figures, gaping holes could be found in Steve Cooper’s ranks.

He has set about plugging those gaps, with efforts made to ensure that every position on the field is covered by at least two potential selections. By the time the summer window swung shut, 21 new additions had been welcomed through the doors at the City Ground.

Never before has a Premier League side been quite so busy, with reinforcements acquired from back to front. Some of those raised plenty of eyebrows, with Jesse Lingard making his way to Nottingham after hitting free agency, while the club’s transfer record was broken on more than one occasion.

Forest did business with the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid, with the days of scratching around in bargain bins for unwanted cast-offs becoming a thing of the past.

The Reds have not, however, overseen a complete transformation by naming an entirely new starting XI. Within a side that is now loaded with fresh faces, familiar ones can still be found. Three academy graduates are seeing plenty of game time, with there an apparent desire to retain a home-grown core in what is now a multinational group.

Those making a step up from the second tier to the top have found the going tough at times, leading to lively debate regarding their ongoing presence in any given starting XI. Some big decisions now lie in store, as there are plenty of alternatives available to Cooper.


He has sought to reward those who have helped to drag Forest kicking and screaming back to this point, with highs meaning more to those who have experienced the lows. It is, however, rarely advisable to let heart rule over head.

With the Premier League an unforgiving beast that can quite easily chew up those with big ambition and deep pockets, how long can you remain stuck in the past before the present and future have to take priority? The Reds, along with a long-suffering fan base, will be forever grateful to those who returned elite competition to Trentside, but is there a place for sentiment in modern-day football?