Nottingham Forest's bonkers transfer season: Every one of the Tricky Trees' 29 signings this season

Nottingham Forest signings (L-R) Taiwo Awoniyi, Dean Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Danilo and Renan Lodi
(Image credit: Getty)

As Nottingham Forest completed 27th signing of the season, the player himself summed up the campaign at the City Ground. 

“It was a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I’m really excited to be part of this wonderful, fast-growing club," Felipe said. Fast-growing indeed. There have been over a quarter of a century new faces at the club since their promotion – and incredibly… he wasn't even the last name through the door. 

So who have you missed? Here's the complete compendium of the Garibaldis' buys from the first to the last – and it really will be the last, given that the window has closed. 

1. Taiwo Awoniyi

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The window started off shrewdly for Nottingham Forest, with the capture of former Liverpool striker, Taiwo Awoniyi. The Nigerian tore it up in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin and looked tailor-made for the Premier League.

Obviously, he's fighting for a place with perhaps a few more forwards than first expected – but he's already chipped in with four goals this season. 

2. Dean Henderson 

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With Dean Henderson reportedly cheesed off with the Manchester United hierarchy with the way he was treated by the club, the goalkeeper moved on loan to Forest in what looked like a really smart move.

After all, it did him good when he moved to newly-promoted Sheffield United the last time. Hendo has been in good form for the Reds – despite flapping a bit at long-range efforts – though couldn't get in the England squad for the World Cup. 

3. Giulian Biancone

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Giulian Biancone came next, signing from Troyes

The Frenchman took the No.2 shirt and thus far, has appeared just twice in the Premier League for Forest. 

4. Moussa Niakhate

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Moussa Niakhate, too, has also only played twice in the Premier League for Steve Cooper.

The centre-back joined from Mainz in the summer but hasn't established himself in the side just since a hamstring injury picked up in August. He's had setbacks but recently described by Cooper as in "the latter stages of rehab".

5. Omar Richards

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An interesting one. Eyebrows were raised when Omar Richards joined from Bayern Munich – the full-back was very highly-rated at Reading and looking to resurrect fortunes back in England after just 12 Bundesliga appearances. 

He's yet to make his debut, though, following a hairline fracture of his leg. Here's hoping he bounces back soon, as he's still a really exciting talent. 

6. Neco Williams

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Neco Williams was next up, joining on a four-year contract for a fee thought to be around £17 million – and he took the No.7 shirt at the City Ground.

Williams has been solid for Forest, playing every one of the club's first 20 games of the campaign. He also went to the World Cup with Wales. 

7. Wayne Hennessey

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Another Wales World Cup squad member, Wayne Hennessey joined on a free transfer.

He's only played twice, too – expectedly, really, since he's the backup keeper behind Dean Henderson. His debut, of course, came against Manchester United, Henderson's parent club. 

8. Brandon Aguilera

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No relation to Christina, Brandon Aguilera joined Forest over the summer from Costa Rican side, Alajuelense. Fellow Costa Rican side Guanacasteca took him on loan for six months following the deal, before Estoril in Portugal signed him in January on loan. 

9. Harry Toffolo

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Next up, a two-for-one deal.

Huddersfield Town were defeated in the 2022 Championship play-off final by Forest to get to the promised land – and in turn, Forest took Harry Toffolo from the beaten finalists. He's been used as a squad player since. 

10. Lewis O'Brien

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As part of the Toffolo deal, Lewis O'Brien moved to the City Ground, too. 

O'Brien has scored once in the Premier League but was subject of deadline day frenzy to give him more minutes. 

11. Jesse Lingard

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After a lifetime at Manchester United (excluding loans), Jesse Lingard upped sticks for a new challenge under Steve Cooper – and it felt like a statement.

…In more ways than one. Lingard's contract was only 12 months long, suggesting to some that he didn't have too much faith in the club's Premier League status. The fact he turned down more established clubs for Forest though was seen as a huge coup for the Reds.

12. Orel Mangala

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Orel Mangala was next in the door. He joined from Stuttgart and has played a dozen times for the Tricky Trees in the league. 

13. Emmanuel Dennis

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Bringing in some Prem-proven quality, Emmanuel Dennis checked in on Trentside next.  

Dennis joined fellow Nigerian Awoniyi as options for Cooper up front – but has thus far managed just a single league strike. Still, if every signing manages one league goal… no, sorry, that's too easy and silly a joke for us to complete. 

14. Cheikhou Kouyate

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More Prem-proven players! Cheikhou Kouyate joined on a free transfer, having last played for Crystal Palace.

Kouyate has proven useful to Cooper, as he toys with a back three and back four, given that the Senegalese is capable in either defence or defensive midfield. He's even managed a goal, too. 

15. Remo Freuler

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Another "oh damn, they mean business, don't they?" buy.

Remo Freuler joined from Atalanta after almost seven years and came very highly rated. He also went to the World Cup, with Switzerland, and he's featured in most of Forest's league games thus far, looking solid.

16. Morgan Gibbs-White

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The big one. It was rumoured to be around £40m but probably cost closer to half – though Morgan Gibbs-White arrived with all the expectancy of a record signing, either way.

The No.10 had worked for Cooper in the England youth set-up in the past and Forest were clearly desperate to add him to the mix this season. It's clear why: he's played 17 times, been integral to the side and his development is coming along nicely. 

17. Hwang Ui-jo

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Another signing who went straight on loan, Hwang Ui-jo joined Olympiacos immediately after his move. The two clubs share Evangelos Marinakis as an owner.

18. Renan Lodi

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Another huge name. Brazilian full-back Renan Lodi was brought in for yet more full-back cover from Atletico Madrid

He's played a dozen times in the league. 

19. Willy Boly

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A second signing from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Willy Boly came next through what has become a revolving door.

Boly joined to shore up defence and the 6ft 5 Frenchman has played half a dozen times for the Reds so far. 

20. Josh Bowler

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Olympiacos have had some great opportunities thanks to Forest. Blackpool's Josh Bowler joined the Reds and was sent on loan to Marinakis's Greek side – though he returned to England in January to be sent back to Blackpool to complete the season on loan under Mick McCarthy. 

21. Loic Bade

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You can never have enough defenders, can you?

Unfortunately, Forest realised you could just three months after signing Loic Bade on loan. He joined from Rennes and left three months later for Sevilla, also on loan. 

22. Serge Aurier

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With Serge Aurier unattached following a release from Villarreal, Forest just couldn't resist, could they?

The Ivorian has featured a dozen times for the Reds, seeing Neco Williams switched over to the opposite flank on occasion. He's even got on the scoresheet once. 

23. Adnan Kanuric

The final signing of the summer actually came after the window closed. Adnan Kanuric, a 22-year-old Austrian goalkeeper, moved to Forest on a free transfer deep into September. 

24. Gustavo Scarpa

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We were in the run-up to Christmas – yes, really – when Nottingham Forest made their next buy. 

Gustavo Scarpa joined from Palmeiras and the forward has looked pretty sharp since. His move went through on January 1. 

25. Danilo

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Another massive deal. Arsenal were chasing Danilo for a while and looked set to pounce for him in January.

But who needs north London when Nottingham comes calling? The Brazilian followed team-mate Scarpa to the City Ground and looks like an exciting piece of business from the Tricky Trees. 

26. Chris Wood

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Is #WoodForTheTrees the greatest-ever signing hashtag? Probably.

Chris Wood only joined Newcastle United for £20m 12 months ago – but he's already found a new home at Forest. It's another loan but it'll be made permanent, should the Kiwi reach certain conditions during his stint. 

27. Felipe

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Davina voice: fancy another one?

Felipe, another Atletico Madrid defender, was Forest's first deadline day move of January 2023. Another intriguing signing – and continuing the Brazilian theme of the month. 

28. Jonjo Shelvey

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Jonjo Shelvey waved goodbye to the Newcastle crowd during their League Cup second-leg win over Southampton. That very same night, he became a Forest player.

Shelvey is another who comes with plenty of experience of the league – it's incredible to think it's 10 whole years since he left Liverpool. 

29. Keylor Navas

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By the end of the transfer window, Nottingham Forest had got so lazy that they were announcing players without pictures of them anymore. 

Keylor Navas might be the best saved till last, however. The serial winning goalkeeper has done it all – and now competes with Henderson and Hennessey between the sticks for the Reds. 

Signings all over now, do we think?

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.