Nottingham Forest have been extremely active in the transfer window with 12 new signings making the move to The City Ground this summer, with the club intent on building a squad fit to compete in the Premier League following a 23-year stint outside of the top flight.
Steve Cooper led his side to play-off victory after beating Huddersfield Town at Wembley in May and since then has been building a new-look team that can compete when the Reds return to action this week and will hope that the transfers made will be enough to retain their Premier League status when the season ends.
Despite the large number of new faces in the team already, Cooper is reportedly keen to sign another striker during the transfer window after Keinan Davis returned to Aston Villa following a loan spell with Forest in the Championship last season.
One player who could be the 13th lucky face to join the newly-promoted side is RC Strasbourg striker Ludovic Ajorque, with Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol confirming Forest’s interest on Monday evening (via Sky Sports Transfer Centre):
“A player who we could be hearing a lot more from in the next couple of weeks played against Liverpool for Strasbourg at the weekend.
“He’s a striker called Ludovic Ajorque, 6ft 6in striker with a very good scoring record for them, is available for £18m.
“I’m told the clubs that watched him yesterday were Wolves, Everton, Leicester, West Ham, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Newcastle. He’s someone we might be hearing a lot more from.”
The Frenchman finished off last season as Strasbourg’s top goal scorer with 12 goals and eight assists, but it’s not just his goal contributions that will have caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs.
Ajorque ranked second for tackles in the opponents’ half, ranked third for aerial duels won and was second for headed goals in the entirety of Ligue 1 last season, proving that the 6 foot 6 goal machine could be a hugely valuable asset to Cooper in more ways than one.
The Forest boss could even land his very own Ivan Toney with a swoop for Ajorque this summer, as the Brentford striker was one of the most comparable players to the 28-year-old forward over last season, according to FBref.
Standing at 5 foot 10, the Bees forward might be a somewhat slender frame in comparison but their statistics are certainly comparable as like Ajorque, he supplies a team with both goals and assists, finding himself involved in 63 goals since moving to London.
Toney did have more shots on target per 90 minutes (2.57) last season, but the Strasbourg striker outperformed his position peer in a number of areas with more goal contributions (20), a better shot on target accuracy (42.4%), a better pass completion rate (73.7%) and a higher pressure success (27.5%).
With that being said, the acquisition of Ajorque, who was dubbed as “complete” by Julian Stephan, would be a superb signing for Cooper in his pursuit to add another striker to the team.
Brentford showed how vital it was to have Toney in their ranks last term as they battled for safety after being promoted so if Forest can land someone similar, it will significantly help their efforts too.