Despite their ambitious transfer window, Forest aren’t having the best start to their Premier League campaign currently 19th in the table after conceding 11 goals in their last three fixtures as well as a humiliating defeat to Bournemouth that saw the side go from 2-0 up at halftime to 3-2 down by the final whistle.
Luckily for Steve Cooper, there is plenty of time to repair the problems and inconsistencies in the team and plenty of players to choose from to help him achieve that over the next 32 league games left, although they did miss out on one player who could’ve been game-changing for the Reds.
Amadou Onana made the move to Everton after Forest battled for his signature this summer, and following his performances in the Premier League with the Toffees not securing his services could be something Cooper regrets over the season ahead.
Indeed, Forest attempted to sign the Belgian midfielder but were knocked back by the player in their advances.
The 21-year-old central player who was dubbed a “sensational talent” by one source, has been impressive over his five appearances for Everton making 2.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.6 clearances per game, as well as winning the majority of his duels (51%) so far.
In fact, he would’ve been a much better option than Cheikhou Kouyate who signed for Forest on a free transfer from Crystal Palace this summer as he is not only more than a decade younger than him but offers a higher quality output.
When you compare the two players over their performances last season Onana had a better pass completion rate (83.8% v 83.3%), had more shot-creating actions per 90 (2.05 v 0.78) and a better success rate for pressures (31.9% v 29.3%).
Meanwhile, this term, Kouyate’s stats are rather poor compared to the player Forest could have signed, with the former Palace man making just 0.3 interceptions and 0.8 tackles per game.
Whilst Kouyate is a competent defensive midfielder and cost nothing to sign, he is a short-term solution for the Reds whereas Onana could’ve been a prospect and investment worthy of development in Cooper’s team who could deliver at a higher level for much longer.
With that being said, Forest may well regret their decision not to sign the talented 6 foot 4 midfielder, especially if they fail to retain their Premier League status by this time next year.