The lowdown: Rise to stardom
Having spent much of his early career in the lower reaches of the French footballing pyramid, the 26-year-old made a professional breakthrough at Ligue 2 club Valenciennes, where he racked up 76 appearances before moving to top-flight outfit Metz in 2017.
It now seems as though Forest are set to make Niakhate their third summer arrival following the signings of Taiwo Awoniyi and Dean Henderson.
The latest: ‘Getting closer…’
Taking to Twitter, Romano has claimed that the Reds are nearing the completion of a deal to sign Niakhate from Mainz.
The journalist stated: “Nottingham Forest are getting closer to signing Moussa Niakhaté, deal at final stages. Agreement in principle with Mainz on the fee – some details to be sorted out. #NFFC Niakhaté, expected to become the next signing after Awoniyi, Dean Henderson and Giulian Biancone.”
Elsewhere, The Athletic have reported that the move for a player hailed for his ‘terrific ball-playing abilities’ by journalist Maxi Angelo will cost a fee in the region of £10m as Steve Cooper looks to bolster the squad at the City Ground.
Will Niakhate be a good signing for Forest?
The verdict: Well-rounded recruit
Although it’s nigh-on impossible to guarantee the perfect formula for success or even survival back in the Premier League, the Forest hierarchy certainly seem to be equipping Cooper with all of the tools required to stand a chance of meeting their objectives for next season.
During 2021/22, Niakhate scored four times in 30 league outings, earning a 6.94 Sofascore rating whilst winning 4.3 duels and making 2.2 clearances and 1.7 interceptions per game in the process, highlighting an eye for goal to accompany his superb defensive attributes.
Holding a perceived market value of £16.2m (Transfermarkt), the likelihood is that the Reds are landing the Frenchman at a relatively bargain rate, with him being in the final 12 months of his contract in Germany, so this can be regarded as a smart piece of prospective recruitment from the club.
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