Nottingham Forest have been splashing the cash this summer with the aim of promotion.
After another disappointing finish in the Sky Bet Championship last season, finishing in an incredibly mediocre 17th place, things have started to look up for The Tricky Trees. Since the sacking of Mark Warburton in late December Aitor Karanka has strengthened the back line for Forest.
Forest are another one of those clubs in the long list of sleeping giants in the Championship. This has been shown with season tickets selling like hot cakes. At least 19,000 season tickets being claimed by the City Ground faithful.
The addition of Evangelos Marinakis, owner of both Olympiacos and now Nottingham Forest, has used his limitless finances to strengthen Forest on and off the field. He has given fans a new breath of life, injecting a sense of order and balance to a club once battling it out for their Championship status. Furthermore, the summer transfer window has seen Marinakis give Karanka the resources he needs to table a promotion bid.
And Aitor Karanka hasn’t held back. 8 signings completed so far and his desire to move on deadwood within the squad, has freshened up the squad and excited the always anticipating Red’s fans.
When looking at the signings, there truly are some eye-catching players that have agreed to play under Karanka next season with the aim of having a squad balance of youth and experience. The likes of João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves and Gil Dias are extremely exciting players with all having potentially very successful futures both with club and country. Additionally, the signings of Michael Dawson and Costel Pantilimon have strengthened the spine of the team, something that often collapses under the high intensity of the Championship.
Last campaign was a tale of two halves, with the first being very attack-minded with possession which was very pleasing on the eye, but they suffered many defensive flaws with them conceding 42 goals in 26 games. Whereas the second half was molded on being defensively strong however that style change reduced Forest’s goal threat with only 18 goals in 20 games. It’s clear that Karanka has to get his balancing act right if he is to stand a chance at promotion.
The fruitful transfer window hasn’t ended at the Portuguese trio with Aitor Karanka bringing in experienced knowhow up top with Lewis Grabban and Hilal Soudani being bought for £6m and £3m. These both pose a great scoring threat, Grabban having played regularly in the Championship last season at Aston Villa and Sunderland, and Soudani wielding Champions league experience with Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb.
Hopefully for Nottingham Forest fans, this can be their season and they can roll back the glory days, achieve promotion and begin a new era of scintillating football in the division they once dominated.