The stunning £104m transfer window Nottingham Forest could have had - according to Football Manager
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There can’t have been too many clubs that had a more dramatic transfer window than Nottingham Forest.
Fresh from their successful bid to preserve their Premier League status, the City Ground outfit made 13 new signings and converted Chris Wood’s loan move into a permanent deal after the New Zealand international initially joined the club from Newcastle in January.
The likes of PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga and Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares all complete moves to Forest over the last two months and it can be viewed as an overwhelmingly positive summer of trading for Steve Cooper. Oh, and the small matter of landing England international Callum Hudson-Odoi, on a deal that could prove to be the bargain of the summer.
But how could things have played out at the City Ground if things went a little differently? We fired up Football Manager and used the editor to move on the players that left the club this summer to see what business was conducted by the virtual Cooper. RoboCooper, if you will.
Joe Aribo (£7m from Southampton)
The first signing of the summer saw Cooper bring in former Rangers star Aribo. The attacking midfielder joined in a £7m deal and kicked off what would be a hectic summer of recruitment at the City Ground.
Toni Martinez (£4m from Porto)
The former Spain youth international has experience of English football after spending time with West Ham United and a loan spell at Oxford United earlier in his career. After impressing with Portuguese giants Porto, he will now get a second chance to impress in the Premier League after making a £4m move to Forest.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (£5m from Chelsea)
He may well have headed to Marseille in the real world, but Chelsea outcast Aubameyang made a shock switch to the City Ground in the virtual one. A £5m deal could prove to be a shrewd move for Cooper - but equally it could turn out to be a disastrous one if his time at Stamford Bridge is anything to go by. Still, it’s a lovely old bit of business on paper at least.
Demari Gray (£17m from Everton)
He’s off to Saudi Arabia in the real world but Toffees winger Gray will become a key part of Cooper’s virtual Forest after he joined the club just days before the start of the new Premier League season.
Miguel Almiron (£30m from Newcastle United)
This was something of a surprise! Almiron enjoyed a remarkable season as he helped Newcastle qualify for the Champions League last time out - but he will watch on from afar as his old club compete against Europe’s elite after making a big money switch to Forest.
Adam Wharton (£15m from Blackburn Rovers)
There were plenty of suitors for the highly-rated Blackburn youngster but it’s Forest that stole a march on their rivals by landing him in a £15m deal. However, Wharton will return to Ewood Park on a season-long loan as part of the agreement.
Dean Henderson (£25m from Manchester United)
A familiar face returns to the City Ground as Cooper found a new-ish goalkeeper in former loan star Henderson. The Red Devils stopper was signed in a £25m deal on transfer deadline day and was immediately installed as Cooper’s first-choice keeper. In real life, of course, he ended up signing for Crystal Palace.