February 21, 2024

Since the arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo, Nottingham Forest have drastically improved.

However, their recent 2-2 draw at home to Blackpool in the FA Cup was a reminder that plenty of work still needs to be done.

Therefore, the Tricky Trees will look to bolster their side in January, and they have their eye on an attacker.

Nottingham Forest transfers – the hunt for an attacker

According to Italian news outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Forest are one of a handful of teams that are attempting to reach an agreement with Hellas Verona for Cyril Ngonge.

Hellas Verona attacker Cyril Ngonge in action

The 23-year-old is keen to continue his career at another club, and the Italian side won’t stand in his way. It’s reported that contact has already been made between the two clubs over a prospective deal.

However, they are demanding a fee of around £11m to acquire the Belgian’s services.

With the January transfer window now upon us, FFC has all the info for tracking your club’s winter transfer activity.

Why Cyril Ngonge is perfect for Gibbs-White

Despite joining for a fee of £42.5m in the summer of 2022, Morgan Gibbs-White is proving his worth in the Forest side, and he will be relishing working alongside Nuno Santo again, who gave him his professional debut at Wolves.

Since reuniting at the City Ground, the England U21 star has picked up two goals and an assist in four matches, taking his overall tally for the campaign to six goal involvements across all competitions.

Morgan-gibbs-white-nottingham-forest

However, due to injuries and a lack of depth, the boss is on the lookout for a player who can thrive alongside Gibbs-White in the attack, which is where Ngonge comes into the equation.

The Belgian is currently starring for Hellas Verona, who are fighting for survival in Serie A. The attacker has played 19 matches in the Italian first division this season, scoring six goals and registering two assists in the process, which is just less than half of his team’s goal total (16).

Football journalist Josh Bunting described the 23-year-old as “lively,” and considering Ngonge plays in a side where quality is restricted, the statistics also indicate that.

Ngonge’s 2023/24 Serie A Stats
Stats (per 90) Ngonge Ranking in Italy
Goals 0.34 Top 21%
xG 0.27 Top 21%
Shots total 2.62 Top 21%
Goals/shot on target 0.38 Top 23%
Successful take-ons 1.88 Top 28%
Stats via FBref

As you can see, the former Club Brugge player likes to make an impact in the final third, whether that be by working half a yard of space to shoot or attempting to take a player on.

The left-footed attacker has adapted to playing for a side that has less of the ball, using his pace and energy to provide an outlet up top, which fits in with Forest’s counter-attacking approach under Nuno. For that reason, he’d surely be perfect for a creative outlet such as Gibbs-White.

nuno-espirito-santo

Versatility is a strength for the attacker, who has played as a right-winger, a number nine, and as a second striker. Based on his goals-to-shot on-target ratio and overperformance of xG, Ngonge is rather clinical, and only Chris Wood has scored more than him in the Forest squad this season.

Overall, the potential signing of Ngonge does seem like a smart move by the Midlands side, especially considering his potential and the rather cheap fee.

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