Nottingham Forest’s transfer window thus far can only be described as a feeding frenzy with virtually a whole new squad coming in. These constant changes demonstrate owner Evangelos Marinakis’ commitment to keeping Forest in the Premier League.
Due to this hectic window, my initial plans of writing a single article have been altered. Instead, I plan to write a mini-series where each piece will focus on a different area of the team.
Using statistics and context, I will endeavour to explain why each player has been brought in and what they can bring to the team.
Out: Brice Samba
In: Dean Henderson
Backup: Wayne Hennessey
There was, without a doubt, a need for at least one new goalkeeper. Brice Samba’s wage demands were deemed unreasonable so, in turn, he was sold to capitalise on his contract situation.
For me, it was a shame seeing him go given he was one of the standout goalkeepers in the Championships. However, he has never played in the Premier League. Nottingham Forest have used this opportunity to add a Premier League-worthy goalkeeper in the shape of Dean Henderson.
He arrives on loan with a huge reputation. His stellar loan spell with Sheffield United is thought to be one of the main reasons they finished in the top half of the table.
Dean Henderson played over 3,000 minutes in this campaign. By expected goal metrics (how many goals should be scored against a team based on opposition’s shots), he prevented 5.64 goals with his remarkable shot stopping. It seems Nottingham Forest are getting a top-quality goalkeeper who is among the best in the Premier League.
Henderson is not bad with his feet either. When looking at short and medium passes, the percentage of completed passes is 90%+. Most of these passes are progressive, getting the ball up the pitch to start attacks.
So, Nottingham Forest is not only receiving a wonderful new goalkeeper but arguably an improvement on Samba who was the previous number one. With a similar commanding presence and topflight experience, this loan deal was an imperative piece of business to keep the club in the League.
Wayne Hennessey has clearly been signed as a backup. He has had over a hundred Premier League appearances during his time at Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers during which Crystal Palace remained in the Premier League.
Although he is no longer a first-choice goalkeeper, he has plenty to add with his experience. He may not be a modern keeper, but he does the most important job a goalkeeper can do: keep the ball out of the net.
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