May 18, 2024

Overseeing outgoings will be the main focus of Nottingham Forest’s transfer business this month.

Trimming numbers was already a priority before Nuno Espirito Santo was appointed before Christmas. And since coming in the Reds head coach has been clear about his wish to work with a smaller squad.

Gustavo Scarpa’s loan at Olympiacos was cut short and he is now back in Brazil, while Andrey Santos has returned to parent club Chelsea. Further departures will follow before the 11pm deadline on February 1. Forest will hope to benefit from ensuring Nuno has a more streamlined group to work with in the second half of the season.

As at any club, not every signing works out. Scarpa didn’t make the desired impact after joining as a free agent 12 months ago – although banking £4 million from Atletico Mineiro can be seen as good business by Forest. Santos, meanwhile, barely featured during his time Trentside.

Equally, moving on from the City Ground doesn’t always have a happy ending for those involved. There are plenty of examples down the years of players whose careers didn’t pan out how they hoped after leaving the Reds.

Various factors play a part in transfer decisions, of course. But we have taken a look at some players who, for one reason or another, might have regretted their Forest exits.

Djed Spence


Djed Spence at Leeds United

How different might the last couple of years have been for Djed Spence had he signed for the Reds permanently after promotion? Yet to make a start for Tottenham Hotspur, the right-back has had loans at Rennes and Leeds United. And he now looks set for another loan move this month after his stint at Elland Road ended early.


Keinan Davis

Keinan Davis celebrates Nottingham Forest's promotion at Wembley

Another of Forest’s promotion-winning group, Keinan Davis hasn’t quite hit the same heights since that glorious day at Wembley. The striker spent last term on loan at Watford then switched to Udinese on a permanent deal last summer. However, the move has not worked out. He suffered a calf injury in training soon after he arrived and has made just one appearance so far. Reports have suggested he could favour a return to England this month.


Lewis Grabban

Lewis Grabban celebrates scoring for Nottingham Forest against Cardiff City

Former head coach Steve Cooper had been keen to keep Lewis Grabban for the Reds’ return to the Premier League. Talks took place over a new contract, following the expiration of his old one, but with no agreement reached he went on to join Al Ahli as a free agent. Last year, it emerged he received $700,000 in compensation for a breach of contract by the Saudi Arabian side. His spell there lasted three months.


Oliver Burke

Oliver Burke on the ball for Leipzig
Nigel Doughty Academy graduate Oliver Burke was seen as a bright prospect when he came up through the ranks. He joined RB Leipzig in 2016 for £13 million but left the German outfit after a year and has found it tough to settle. Now 26, he is on loan at Birmingham City from Werder Bremen.


Sammy Ameobi

Sammy Ameobi in action for Nottingham Forest
Although he could frustrate at times, Sammy Ameobi was a solid performer in the Garibaldi. He was part of the squad to go agonisingly close to reaching the play-offs under Sabri Lamouchi. The winger was released by the Reds in 2021 and went on to sign for Middlesbrough. However, he suffered injury problems and failed to make a single appearance for the club. He left a year later.


Arvin Appiah

Forest got a good deal for academy product Arvin Appiah when they sold him to Almeria for roughly £8m in 2019. At 23, he is still young and has plenty of years of progress ahead of him. It hasn’t necessarily been easy for him since he left the Reds, though. He has had a succession of loan moves, including his current one with Rotherham United.




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