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[FM23] Nottingham Forest - Survive then Thrive onto European Glory


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[FM23] Nottingham Forest - Survive then Thrive onto European Glory

After 23 season's, the mighty Nottingham Forest are finally back in the Premier League with just the one aim, survive! The Greek has opened his cheque book up and spend £160,000,000 on transfers and loan players to make the dream happen. Can Forest stay in the Premier League or will the 20+ new players arriving (along with 20+ players leaving) just be too many to gel and be a success? We shall soon find out if this Forest team have the quality to become the next great Nottingham Forest story!


I decided to re-visit this now the winter update is completed and Forest have survived in the Premier League with a game to spare. I will be trying to stay true to the 2022/23 team and with the winter update, making sure all players join at the right time (Apart from Navas, who is in from the start and not sure why). I will be playing this slowly and until FM24 when I'll be enjoying a Forest story from the start!



Edited by theBlackPrince
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2023 Squad Review

With 40+ players coming and going, no-one will be surprised that the team is much, much different to the one that finished last season. Forest were literally linked with every single player across Europe at one point (or so it seemed). With that in mind, taking a look at the squad who will take on the challenge to keep Forest in the Premier League seems a worthy starting point. We have a mixture of Nottingham born players (Smith, Worrall, Yates, Johnson) who were (mostly) key to promotion mixing with newly signed international players. Are there any glaring gaps in the squad or has all gaps been filled in and depth where needed?



Dean Henderson will need to be worth 10 points himself this season to Forest to have any chance to survive. He is, head and shoulders above the other keepers in the team and commands the huge salary which Forest will pick up this year onto of a monthly fee. Still, with all the money spent elsewhere this could prove to be great business for the season and gives Henderson a chance to impress before the World Cup and future transfers. It is unlikely he will be back to Forest next season, which leaves the team lacking in a Premier League standard keeper moving forward.

Welsh international Wayne Hennessey will be backup for the season as American international Ethan Horvath has gone out on loan to Championship size Luton to help his case for the Qatar World Cup. Both are not long term solutions for the Premier League so finding more short and long term options are high on the priority list, but with them both on manageable wages, no large drama there. Finally, long term Nottingham lad Jordan Smith has been with the team since 2011 and for the wages, offers value to keep on the books for now.



With several incoming players, stalwart Joe Worrall will have competition for the starting spot. He formed a formidable back 3 with Steve Cook and Scott Mckenna last season but the move up a level will see them all pushed to keep improving and stake a starting role. They all will have a role to play this season and moving forward, but what that is at this stage will be performance driven, but I will be rooting for them! 

Wily Boly comes in with Premier League experience from Wolves and commands a decent wage for that experience. The Senegalese defender Moussa Naikhate has spent several years in the Bundesliga with Mainz and isn't looking to be on the bench. He may be the highest ranked defender on the team currently. Cheikhou Kouyate can play across the back but might be utilised more as a defensice midfielder this season.  

On the left we have Harry Toffolo who joined from Huddersfield and Brazilian Renan Lodi, who is on loan from Club Atlético de Madrid for the season. Forest are picking up the wages and a £475,000 a month fee but do have a £25,000,0000 option to buy at the end of the loan. At 24 and with caps for Brazil, this could be something activated if survival is obtained. Serge Aurier comes in with 79 caps for Ivory Coast and looks to battle with Welsh signing Nico Williams. The £16,000,000 paid to Liverpool is a long term investment in the talent wingback. 

Canadian Richie Laryea is out on loan to get ready for the World Cup along with Giulian Biancone who will also join him if possible along with Loic Mbe Soh and Mohammed Drager. At this point, all 4 of them will struggle to make an impact next season and may find themselves moving on in the near future. There is also Omar Richards not on the list, the £7,250,000 signing from Bayern Munich suffered a broken leg in pre-season and will be out until after the World Cup. We will treat him as a new signing in January when (hopefully) recovered.

Edited by theBlackPrince
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  • theBlackPrince changed the title to [FM23] Nottingham Forest - Survive then Thrive onto European Glory

2023 Squad Review - Part 2

Central Midfielders


With 6 players all able to play the DM, MC position, playing time will belong to those who earn it. Swiss international Remo Freuler is the pick of the players and will look to anchor the midfield, he may find himself extremely busy over the season. Nottingham born and Forest man Ryan Yates is a fan favorite with a motor that doesn't stop as he goes box to box all game long. He may not be the most talented player or the most highly rated, but he loves the club and will always, always put 110% in every game. Orel Mangala makes the move from Stuttgart and will be wanting to force is way into the starting 11. Lewis O'Brien makes the move from beaten Play-Off finalists Huddersfield and shows a large upside, but may struggle to force into the starting 11. Cafu and Harry Arter will struggle to feature.

Attacking Midfielders / Wingers / Forwards


There was much noise/buzz when Jesse Lingard picked Forest over West Ham and he comes in with a large wage but a £0 transfer spend. There is an option to extend this for a second season which give flexibility if Forest stay up or go back down. Will he provide those magic moments or will it be more hype then substance?

Welsh international Brennan Johnson is the golden child and a gem from the Forest academy over the past few seasons. He can be breath-taking and frustrating all at the same time, often going missing in games but will pop up with that one key moment. Can he carry on his threat in the top flight and chip in with goals and assists? Morgan Gibb-White was a must buy by Steve Cooper who splashed £25,000,000 plus add-on's for him. Can he live up to the hype and the price tag pressure?

Up front might be the  weakest part of the team with just 2 out-and-out strikers in the team, with Hwang Ui-Jo out on loan. Taiwo Awoniyi is the main threat after his £17,750,000 move from Union Berlin and his 15 goals last season in the Bundesliga. He will need to score the goals or Forest will need to bring in options in the next transfer windows. Sam Surridge is a natural finisher but may not have the performance to last in the Premier League, which is a great shame as personally a fan of his.

Edited by theBlackPrince
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Nottingham Forest Overview


The World Famous City Ground has been jumping in real life this year and made it an experience every game. The 30,332 seater stadium is now probably 20,000 seats short of where it needs to be for current demand. Raising the funds for the stadium will be vital in the next few years to be able to increase revenue. The real worrying part of this is the "Adequate" Academy coaching and "Above Average" Youth Recruitment which puts Forest on the back foot for talent in the local area and further afield. This needs addressing as soon as possible if we are to bring the Nigel Doughty Academy back to the level that it needs to be.

Starting Finances

  • Starting Balance - £1,324,000
  • Transfer Budget - £8,649,000
  • Wage Budget - £1,494,500
  • Wage Spend - £1,390,900 - Committed Spend £1,484,500

Aims and Objectives

  • Secure the club financially
  • Increase Academy facilties as a matter of urgency.
  • Look to upgrade/build a larger stadium to meet Premier League Demand
  • Build the clubs DNA to focus recruitment and player development.
  • Stay in the Premier League

The DNA of the club will take time to build with the way the squad was put together this season. Players were generally 22-28 years old with a few older players brought in for experience. The big wage difference between the top earners and the rest may cause some friction down the line, but both big earners may just be a 1 season and gone which will enable us to get a structure in place moving forward. At this point, the buzz around the club is at an all time high which also brings the expectations of the supporters up another level or two.

Edited by theBlackPrince
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Pre-Season 2022

Pre-Season saw plenty of goals and the team trying to build together and gain rapport with each other for the upcoming season. The only loss came against Belgian side Club Brugge. A final win over LaLiga side Cadiz was the highlight of the games before heading to the Premier League Season. 


Edited by theBlackPrince
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5 hours ago, shakey.bridge said:

Nice to see a Forest career, all the best mate, I look forward to following your progress. Hope you can get that squad gelled and blended and keep us up!

I haven't seen any on here so thought might be a good one, although managing in England with all the money may not be so satisfying in the ling term but we shall see. 

Time to get some more games done as we haven't really played any of the big 6 yet which will see our good start tested!

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