Published on 19 March 2024 at 16:00

The cost of surviving their first Premier League season in 23 years was £142.8m after splurging on a British record 22 new signings last summer. After an official charge in January, the Premier League have confirmed that Forest have been deducted four points as a result of subsequently breaching FFP regulations. The East Midlands outfit breached the FFP loss threshold of £61m by £34.1m and while they are intent on appealing the verdict they currently sit in the relegation zone with nine games left to salvage their season. We assess which players need to leave the club in a likely upcoming exodus this summer as they desperately attempt to balance the books.

jonjo shelvey:

The 32 year old midfielder was hauled in on a free transfer last season during the winter window, with the club staring relegation in the face after 15 games. It signalled one last throw of the dice from the club, signing a veteran who had managed just 34 minutes all season for Newcastle United and hoping he could somehow revolutionise a midfield devoid of creativity. The reality was he made only six starts under Steve Cooper before a terrible mistake in the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa saw him outcast from the squad for the final seven games of the campaign.

This summer, has joined Rizespor on loan in the Turkish Super Lig as Forest desperately try to offload his hefty £75,000 a-week salary. He has impressed abroad making 25 appearances with five goal contributions, as Rizespor chase a European qualification spot and Forest will be hopeful his employers will be persuaded to take him off their hands this summer. Either way, Shelvey will not be sticking around in Nottinghamshire when his loan expires in June!


harry arter:

How Harry Arter is still on the books raking in £40,000 a-week at the City Ground is unknown, Forest desperately tried to drive the 34 year old out of the club this summer but to no avail. Apparently, the midfielder was intent on seeing out his remaining one season at the club and despite an unnamed offer from a club in Dubai he refused to leave happy to rot in the reserves until the summer.

Having not featured for Forest in the Premier League, on loan at Notts County and Charlton Athletic last season he arrived to pre-season unfit and showed no effort to work his way into contention under Steve Cooper. To be honest its a mystery how Arter is still considered a Premier League player and the club can't wait to slam the door in his face and never see him again. For Arter his strike action at Forest will not have helped attract future employers and he could be left searching for a while in the summer before inevitably accepting a job in the National League.

chris wood:

This deal typifies the haphazard transfer strategy of Forest last season in a drastic effort to keep their Premier League status. While buy clauses for most clubs are activated after a high number of appearances or goals, for Forest they agreed to a £12m buy fee if the Newcastle striker played just three games. 

His arrival was disastrous business, he managed one goal in seven appearances before sustaining a hamstring injury which ruled him out for the rest of the season. In this time Forest discovered they didn't need him all along, as Taiwo Awoniyi scored six goals in the final four successive games of the season to help the club secure safety.

The 31 year old has been their top scorer this season with nine goals in the league, but the number 11 is such an outdated striker who does not suit the counter-attacking style of Forest under Nuno Espirito Santos. He is reported to earn upwards of £80,000 a-week, and with the financial embargo encompassing the club it only makes sense while he is in form to cash in on him this summer. They will have potential suitors from the Premier League, MLS and maybe Championship and it will give Forest the chance to find a younger striker who fits their system.

Ui-jo hwang:

If there was a reward for operating your transfer approach like a FIFA career mode campaign, then Forest would get all the applause for the concoction of players they bring together. Hwang was signed for £4m last summer after starring for Bordeaux in Ligue 1 scoring 11 goals in 32 games.

If your scratching your head wondering why you can't remember him, its because he has never played for Nottingham Forest since his arrival immediately shipped out to affiliate club Olympicakos on loan. Since joining the club the South Korean has been sent to four different clubs including FC Seoul, Norwich City and currently Alanaspor where it has become clear Forest have no intent on integrating him into the squad.

At 31 years old this loan exile seems to make no sense what so ever and its time Forest stopped messing about with his career and actually sold him so he can get his career back on track. While, they won't get more than the £4m they spent on him if anything this departure is more to elevate poor Ui-Jo Hwang who has been left wondering what he ever did wrong.

odisseas vlachodimas:

For a club who are under financial regulation you would think they would run a tight ship, rather than sign three goalkeepers all in the space of six months. Vlachodimas was a £7.7m deadline day signing in the summer transfer window, with big expectations for a goalkeeper who has averaged 12 clean sheets in the last five Primera Liga seasons at SL Benfica. 

However, he has been secondary to Matt Turner this season despite the American being extremely unreliable and then was pushed further down the pecking order after Forest turned to ex-Newcastle United reject Matz Selz in January. Vlachodimas has not taken his chance when given it though, he conceded five goals over two legs in the FA Cup to League One Blackpool and has kept just one clean sheet in his five Premier League appearances.

Out of the three goalkeepers, Vlachodimas needs to leave the most because he arguably has the most to prove and can definitely resurrect this poor season at Forest by joining another club abroad. The 29 year old has gone from starring in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League with Benfica to being benched at a relegation threatened club.

emmanuel dennis:

Just one season ago Emmanuel Dennis was worth £20m after coming off of the back of an impressive season in the Premier League with Watford scoring 10 goals and making six assists. However, it never worked out at Forest last season with the Nigerian reportedly embroiled in a feud with Steve Cooper where he was regularly questioned over his work ethic and punctuality.

Despite making 25 appearances last season it became apparent he was surplus to requirements this summer, but surprisingly Forest struggled to find any suitors prepared to pay close to the £20m they had splashed on him. Eventually, the Turkish Super Lig came to Forest's rescue once again with Istanbul Basaksehir signing him on loan.

In January he was recalled and sent to former club Watford in the Championship on loan and so far he is in form scoring three goals in 11 games. While, Forest will undoubtably have to take a significant loss on Dennis, they have to sell him this summer and will be hoping a Saudi club eye him up and offer over the odds.


lewis o'brien:

Another victim of Forest's cut-throat transfer regime; signed alongside Huddersfield Town teammate Harry Toffolo in a £10m joint deal by January he was outcast from the club's 25-man Premier League squad. What was surprising is that the 25 year old had largely impressed at the City Ground early in the season making 17 appearances in all competitions.

However, the arrival of flamboyant Brazilian Danilo seemed to signal the end of his future at the club and he was forced to join DC United on loan in March in a bid to find minutes. 

This season saw no change under Steve Cooper, with a co-hort of Championship clubs highly touting the talented midfielder who eventually joined Middlesbrough where he's had a underwhelming season. The frustration with this deal, is that O'Brien was such young star with so much potential, but Forest seemingly couldn't wait around long enough to see it. He can easily secure a move to the Championship or even abroad following in the footsteps of many English players travelling to the Bundesliga or Serie A. 

remo freuler:

A high profile arrival after seven consistent seasons at Atalanta overachieving in Europe and unsettling the big boys in Serie A. In Freuler, Forest had signed a composed visionary on the ball who could dictate the tempo of play and insert a creative flair into attacks. 

He seemingly experienced first season syndrome, mainly underwhelming in a Forest shirt which is common in foreign players venturing to the English top flight for the first time. He made 33 appearances in all competitions switching between Orel Mangala and Danilo in midfield, but it appears his mundane impact failed to convince the Forest hierarchy to keep him around for another season.

At 31 years old, Forest had younger options to experiment with this campaign and shipped the Swiss international back out on loan to Italy at Bologna which he not aged well. While, Forest have struggled to avoid the relegation zone this year, Freuler has starred for a Bologna team who have climbed into a top four spot in Serie A under Thiago Motta after seven wins in ten games.

This form will help attract bidders in the summer, although he won't be commanding a high fee and his rejuvenation this season might have Forest scratching their heads regretting their haste in letting him leave so soon.


Written by Lewis Eadie

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