Former BBC pundit Noel Whelan has suggested that there is a ‘massive chance’ that Nottingham Forest are relegated from the Premier League this season after their extensive activity in the transfer market.
The Lowdown: Busy transfer window
Steve Cooper’s side recently confirmed the £12.7m signing of Orel Mangala from Stuttgart, with the club having now added 12 new players to the squad during the summer transfer window following their promotion to the top flight in May.
Following the Belgium international’s arrival at City Ground, Forest have reportedly brought their summer spend to more than £85m.
The Latest: Whelan’s warning
Whelan, who used to work as a pundit for BBC Radio Leeds, hopes that Forest can survive the drop this season, but he worries that it may take the squad too long to gel with one another.
Speaking with Football Insider, he claimed: “I do believe it will take time to blend these players and gel this group together. But they’ve got a very good manager in Steve Cooper, and he will give them the best possible chance.
“It is often the case that teams can sign too many players and it backfires – but Forest didn’t have a choice, they lost a lot of their best players after the play-off final.
“The owner has shown his intent and you just hope it doesn’t backfire. I think it would be great to keep Forest in the Premier League.
“They’ve got that history and that prestige. When you see them on the fixture list, it’s a game you look forward to.
“There is a massive chance that it could come back to bite them if these players can’t adapt to a new club and a new league. It’ll be intriguing and exciting for their fans to see how it pans out.”
Will Forest stay in the Premier League?
The Verdict: Not a great start…
“Newcastle deserved to win the game,” the Forest manager told reporters. “They were the better team. We will always show respect to that.”
With so many new arrivals at the City Ground, this was always going to be a likely outcome at the beginning of the season, so it may take a few weeks or even months for the squad to settle in playing with one another.
Whelan is right to sound a warning that extensive summer spending does not automatically ensure a comfortable top-flight campaign, with Aston Villa scraping survival on the final day in 2020 despite spending more than £140m in the summer and winter transfer windows.
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