So, at the end of season 2, Forest won their first FA Cup since 1959, and their first silverware since the 1990 defeat of Oldham in the League Cup final.
The way certain things were going at the club in this save, meant that only one or two of the players within the squad were even born when that happened.
With the transfer window coming fast and strong, a lot of time was dedicated to where we could make improvements, and defensively, a lot was brought up.
Out went Tobias Figueiredo, to Inter for £25m + add ons, which would finance some incomings. Also departing was central midfielder, Ivaylo Chochev, who had found chances hard to come by with the arrival of Jordan Henderson on the midfield scene alongside Ryan Yates and Ryan Gauld. Goalkeeper Jordan Smith departed for a nominal fee to Chelsea, who signed him to cover their home grown player obligations.
Along with the £50m allocated by the board, the £35m that had been raised in player sales was available to spend.
The first arrival was an 18 year old goalkeeper who I’d been watching since he appeared on my radar when I was at Wigan.
A current Portuguese U21 international, and with 45 appearances in the top flight in his homeland, José Cunha had a lot of the attributes that would make him the perfect sweeper keeper, but, would need a little bit of work.
For £7.5m, and on a 3 year contract, its a slight risk, but, learning from Pereira and Rajkovic, he’ll develop quickly, and will probably get some game time in cup competitions.
Next through the door was a prearranged deal. Fernando Velasco had appeared on the radar, once more, when I was at Wigan, recommended by an analyst as one to watch, and a dual national.
Playing in the youth setup at Lanús, in Argentina, a bid of £2m was enough to convince him to come to England, and ply his trade. Labelled as the next Diego Simeone, he has a lot of potential, and will only get better. He heads out on loan immediately to Lincoln in League Two to acclimatise to the English game.
Another area where I’m slightly oversubscribed at the moment, is striker. With Karlan Grant joining from Charlton, and Stiepan Jukic returning from his loan at Dinamo, we didn’t really need another striker.
However, the scout reports on 17 year old Mamadouba Diallo, playing at Montpellier in France were very positive, and for £1m, he could be flipped for a profit pretty quickly if needed. He heads out on loan to Scunthorpe.
The next transfer to come in, was in an area that I’d highlighted, and would be one of 3 transfers that would break our old transfer record of £13m.
Kieran Tierney is one of the most highly rated full backs in European Football, and has been for the last few seasons. However, he was still at Celtic, winning the SPL for the last 6 seasons, making over 150 appearances in the process.
It appeared possible that we could get a deal, and with no other clubs paying close attention, a fee of £20m was agreed, and he signed on a 4 year deal. Tierney has a definite resale value, as does Josh Tymon, who will drop to cover him.
Next up, is 17 year old Dutch right back, Piter Rosadi. Signed for £5m from Heerenveen, he returns there on loan for the season, as Lewie Coyle is more than capable. One for the future.
Next in is centre back, Jonathan Panzo, who joins from Club Brugge for £14.25m. The former Chelsea youngster is home grown, and has experience in both France and Belgium. He’ll be backup to Alvarez and Mepham.
A group of free transfers are next on the list, with former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas coming in on a 1 year deal. The 34 year old will be a backup, and will be involved in a mentoring group.
Also coming in, is 20 year old Spanish midfielder, Sergio Gómez. The former Barcelona youth had spent the last few seasons in Germany, at Koln and Dortmund, and the latter had let his contract expire.
Last of the signings for the midfield was 24 year old former Tottenham player, Joshua Onomah. Solid, strong, and a model professional, he will be on the fringes of the first team.
Last signing so far, for £16m, is Jack O’Connell. The former Sheffield United and Brentford defender had been at Benfica, who had paid £11m for him in August 2020, making £5m profit. Hes homegrown, and another solid addition to the backline, which seemed to misfire a bit when Alvarez was added.
Lots of fringe players headed out on loan, making a total of about £1m in monthly fees, with the potential to increase.