Nottingham Forest are on the brink of completing their 13th signing of the summer with Remo Freuler reportedly sealing a deal at The City Ground. However, there are allegedly still other irons in the fire.
According to French news outlet L’Equipe, Nottingham Forest have made a bid for Houssem Aouar for an undisclosed fee but it was quickly rejected by Olympique Lyonnais.
As per the report, the proposal from the newly-promoted side made for the player did not meet the valuation of the club by some stretch. Though, the club are not closed off to the idea of a sale and discussions will continue over the coming days.
There is no doubt that if Forest could pull off this deal for Aouar it would be a major coup as the player has been on the radar of clubs such as Liverpool in the past, and for good reason when you look at his output for Lyon.
The 24-year-old who was dubbed “immaculate” and a “talent” by journalist Rhys Jones is an attacking-minded manager’s dream as most of his best attributes are found in his build up play, ability to pick out goal-scoring opportunities, and the capability to score goals himself.
Last season over 36 appearances, Aouar scored six times, delivered four assists and created eight big chances. He also made 1.1 key passes and produced 34 accurate passes in total per game, as well as tallying up a pass completion rate of 87%.
In fact, the €15m (£12.4m) valued Frenchman ranked in the top 2% of all players in the top five European leagues for pass completion, in the top 15% for tackles and the top 20% for dribbles attempted over the last 12 months, which is seriously impressive.
With that in mind, he could be a marvellous replacement for James Garner who returned to Manchester United over the summer upon the conclusion of his loan spell.
In comparison to Aouar, the United prodigy supplied two key passes per game in the Championship with a pass completion rate of 81%. Furthermore, he scored four times and delivered eight assists, proving they are incredibly alike when it comes to their technical flair and offensive returns.
During their opening Premier League match of the season, Cooper clearly lacked someone with Aouar and Garner’s abilities. Forest struggled to retain possession or play enough accurate passes during their clash against Newcastle United last weekend, with only 39% possession. They also completed 172 fewer accurate passes than their hosts at St James’ Park.
With that being said, the signing of Aouar would be a great piece of business for the powers at The City Ground, as he could not only be Garner 2.0, but he could solve some of the key issues found in the first performance of the season.