Staying, going, decision to be made - verdict on every Nottingham Forest player ahead of transfer window

Nottingham Forest players and head coach Nuno Espirito Santo (right) on their lap of appreciation after defeat to Chelsea in the final home game of the season
A lap of honour for Forest players and boss Nuno, but could it have also been farewell for some of the squad? -Credit:Getty

Nottingham Forest have a big summer on the horizon as they prepare for another season of Premier League football.

The Reds have all but secured top-flight survival ahead of this weekend’s final round of fixtures. And after a second successive relegation fight, owner Evangelos Marinakis is sure to want progress next term.

Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo admitted last week that little planning had taken place for the upcoming transfer window. The Portuguese cited a number of off-field “distractions” and uncertainty over which division Forest would be in for affecting preparations.

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Changes will be made to the squad, though, there is no doubt about that. Incomings and outgoings are on the cards. Some player sales are inevitable as the club aim to keep within the financial rules.

It means important decisions will have to be made over players’ futures. As a key transfer window looms, we give our verdict on who is staying, who is going and whose future is uncertain.


Matz Sels: Goalkeeper had been a problem position for the Reds before the Belgian’s arrival on deadline day in the January window. Since then, he has established himself as first-choice between the posts. Not immune from making errors but has also made some really big saves. Verdict: Staying.

Odysseas Vlachodimos: The Greek didn’t exactly convince when handed his opportunity earlier in the season, and Sels’ arrival then pushed him down to third in the pecking order. He wants to be playing, so is unlikely to be willing to settle for not even being on the bench again next term. Verdict: Going.

Matt Turner: Forest spent money on bringing in the American and Vlachodimos last summer. They may well cut their losses with one, but it’s unlikely they would do so with both. Verdict: Staying.

Wayne Hennessey: The Reds will want to make sure they have three senior goalkeepers on the books for next term - they definitely don’t need four. Hennessey is coming to the end of his contract, though, and has not featured once this season. Verdict: Going.


Andrew Omobamidele: The 21-year-old had to be patient when it came to waiting for his chance, but he took it when it came. A little unfortunate to have lost his place in recent weeks, but has a lot of potential. Verdict: Staying.

Murillo: There is no question the Brazilian is a bright talent. Whether Forest are able to hang on to him this summer is a different matter. Ideally, he is one of the young players the Reds build around, but it would not come as a surprise if others come knocking. Verdict: Uncertain.

Willy Boly: Having the veteran defender back from injury has made a big difference for Nuno’s side. He is out of contract this summer, but offering him a new deal would make a lot of sense. Verdict: Staying.

Moussa Niakhate: It has been something of a mixed season for the Senegal international. His confidence perhaps took a hit after a nightmare at left-back against Aston Villa as he didn’t play for two months afterwards. Sometimes appears a bit vulnerable but can still be a good option to have. Verdict: Staying.

Felipe: The defender may well have already kicked a ball for the final time this season, unless Nuno affords him the opportunity of a farewell at Turf Moor. Felipe indicated his plans to hang up his boots earlier this year. Verdict: Going.

Joe Worrall: Forest have kept tabs on him during his Besiktas loan, but could it be the end of an era for the Nigel Doughty Academy graduate? Even if Besiktas do not take up the option to sign him permanently, he has other admirers. Verdict: Going.

Loic Mbe Soh: For whatever reason, it has not worked out for the former PSG defender on Trentside. He has been on loan at Almere City and will be a free agent in the summer. Verdict: Going.

Scott McKenna: As with Worrall, McKenna’s place in the club’s history is assured as one of the Reds’ promotion heroes. However, he headed to FC Copenhagen on loan in January amid a contract dispute ahead of his deal coming to an end in a few weeks’ time. Verdict: Going.

Jonathan Panzo: Still fairly young at 23, the defender has plenty of years left ahead of him. He has never really had a proper chance at Forest, but with his contract up in 2025 this would be the club’s last chance to make some money from him. Verdict: Going.

Neco Williams: Forest had a decision to make on the Welshman’s future last summer when he was wanted on loan by Leeds United. They made the right call by keeping hold of him as he has gone from strength to strength this term. Verdict: Staying.

Harry Toffolo: What happens with the left-back position is going to be interesting, and might depend on how the Reds view Omar Richards’ fitness and future. Toffolo has generally been a dependable performer, though. Verdict: Staying.

Ola Aina: The sooner Forest get the Nigeria international tied down to fresh terms, the better. A new deal will be fully deserved. Having arrived as a free agent, he will go down as a terrific bit of business by the club. Verdict: Staying.

Gonzalo Montiel: The World Cup winner hasn’t exactly done enough to suggest it would be worth the Reds turning his loan from Sevilla into a permanent move. Other clubs have been linked with him. Verdict: Going.

Nuno Tavares: Arsenal are said to have made the full-back available for transfer, but it would be a surprise if Forest pursue a permanent move for him. He has had some positive moments and also been hampered by injury, but has still made just the 12 appearances in the Garibaldi. Verdict: Going.

Omar Richards: The left-back has now featured 12 times for Olympiacos. He is still yet to make his debut for Forest, but if his injury woes are behind him he will hope that opportunity comes along. Verdict: Staying.

Midfielders/attacking midfielders/wingers

Ryan Yates: As with other managers before him, Nuno has frequently played the Nigel Doughty Academy graduate. Yates can divide opinion among fans, but don’t underestimate what he brings to the squad. Verdict: Staying.

Danilo: It has been a bit of an up and down season for the Brazilian, but he is finishing it with a place in the team. He still has plenty of room for development and has the potential to kick on again next year. Verdict: Staying.

Nicolas Dominguez: The Argentine has been in and out of the XI in his first season at the club, with midfield an area where Forest have a fair few options. He has been linked with a move away, so whether he stays or goes might depend on whether he believes he can get regular game time in the Garibaldi. Verdict: Staying.

Ibrahim Sangare: The club record signing has not quite made the impact it was hoped he would when he arrived from PSV amid plenty of hype. He remains a quality player, and hopefully with a good pre-season under his belt he can show what he is about. Verdict: Staying.

Cheikhou Kouyate: The 34-year-old has mostly had to settle for a place on the bench this season. He is coming towards the end of his contract and is expected to move on. Verdict: Going.

Morgan Gibbs-White: The ideal scenario for Forest is being able to build around a core group of talented young players, with the likes of Gibbs-White and Murillo at the heart. Aiming to keep within the financial rules might make that tricky, but there is no doubting the former England Under-21 international’s importance to the Reds. Verdict: Staying (hopefully).

Anthony Elanga: Although his performances have dipped a little in recent weeks, overall Elanga can reflect on a good first season at the club. He can have a big part to play next year. Verdict: Staying.

Callum Hudson-Odoi: The initial £3 million Forest paid Chelsea for the winger will go down as one of the club’s best pieces of business. He has more than paid back that outlay. And the exciting part is, he can get even better. Verdict: Staying.

Gio Reyna: The loan from Borussia Dortmund hasn’t really worked out for the American. It was always going to be tough, coming to a team fighting to avoid relegation. Eight of his 10 appearances have come as a substitute. Verdict: Going.

Emmanuel Dennis: A loan to former club Watford in the second half of the campaign yielded four goals for the 26-year-old. Forest will want to assess their attacking options in the summer, but it remains to be seen whether Dennis is handed another chance. Verdict: Uncertain.

Harry Arter: Forest will no doubt be relieved to finally have the midfielder’s wages off the books this summer. He has not been part of the first-team set-up for some time and will leave as a free agent. Verdict: Going.

Orel Mangala: It could be argued the Reds have missed Mangala since he headed to Lyon on loan in January. Nevertheless, his permanent switch looks set to go through at the end of the season. Verdict: Going.

Lewis O’Brien: A case of what might have been for the midfielder. His move to the Reds from Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2022 started off with promise before illness seemed to set him back. Middlesbrough are said to have ruled out turning his loan move into a permanent one, but he has been linked with Sheffield United and Preston North End. Verdict: Going.

Josh Bowler: The 25-year-old is one of a group of players who have still never played a competitive match for the first-team. He has had mixed fortunes during his loan spells and there is a question mark over what comes next. Verdict: Uncertain.

Alex Mighten: Still only 22, Mighten is once again at something of a crossroads. Is another loan best? Do Forest think he could have a part to play, even if it is further down the line? Either way, he needs regular game time and forcing his way into contention at the City Ground is going to be tough. Verdict: Uncertain.

Brandon Aguilera: Seen as a bright prospect Trentside, the Costa Rican will have benefitted from his loan at Bristol Rovers. It might be that another loan stint is best for his development, but Nuno will surely want to run the rule over him in pre-season. Verdict: Going (on loan).


Taiwo Awoniyi: The striker has only just returned from injury but has already been asked about his future at Forest. “That’s a tough one, for me I am still under contract at Nottingham Forest, for sure I am here. For now I am a player of Nottingham Forest,” he said. The Reds do need to strengthen their attacking resources, but if Awoniyi’s injury woes are behind him he can still be an important player. Verdict: Staying.

Chris Wood: After going through a purple patch, the goals have dried up of late for the New Zealander, with some gilt-edged chances missed. He might have a fight on his hands to retain his starting spot next season. Verdict: Staying.

Divock Origi: The AC Milan loanee has been given a number of chances to show what he’s about over the course of this season, but he hasn’t really made the most of them. Forest have the option to make his move permanent, but it would be a surprise if they take that up. Verdict: Going.

Rodrigo Ribeiro: It is difficult to offer a verdict on the teenager as he has featured just four times since his deadline day loan switch. Nuno will have a better assessment from viewing him in training as the Reds weigh up whether to follow through with the potential to make his move a permanent one. Verdict: Uncertain.

Hwang Ui-jo: The 31-year-old has had a succession of loans since he joined the Reds in August 2022. It will be a challenge to force his way into Nuno’s thinking. Verdict: Going.

Who should stay and who should go? Have your say in the comments below