By the usual of the summer time of 2022, Nottingham Forest had been notably restrained all through the latest switch window.
After impressively holding Forest within the Premier League whereas additionally integrating a exceptional 30 new signings final season, Steve Cooper oversaw the arrival of simply three gamers earlier than the beginning of the 2023/24 marketing campaign.
However as soon as the season began, Forest – led by Evangelos Marinakis, their enigmatic proprietor – could not assist themselves. The chequebook got here again out.
Three new signings arrived between the beginning of the season and Deadline Day – however Forest have been removed from completed.
The East Midlanders dominated the headlines within the closing 24 hours of the window by bringing in seven gamers, with the £30m seize of Ibrahim Sangare from PSV essentially the most eye-catching.
As soon as the mud had settled, Marinakis wrote an open letter to Forest supporters by which he proclaimed: “Our imaginative and prescient for the membership is evident and unwavering. We’re on a path to re-establish Nottingham Forest as a dominant pressure in English soccer.”
That flurry of exercise – mixed with the proprietor’s bullish claims – helped clarify why the £7.7m signing of goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos from Benfica went underneath the radar.
However a more in-depth inspection of the 29-year-old’s profession means that, in a window the place Chelsea paid £25m for Robert Sanchez and Arsenal agreed a £27m future charge for David Raya, Forest could have pulled off a coup.
Up till the ultimate weeks of the window, Vlachodimos’ standing as a key member of Benfica’s first XI appeared safe.
The Greece worldwide joined the Portuguese membership from Panathinaikos in 2018 and instantly established himself as their No 1, happening to make 225 appearances and serving to Benfica to the Portuguese title in 2019 and 2023.
Vlachodimos additionally performed each minute of the Lisbon facet’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals prior to now two seasons, together with wins over Barcelona, Ajax and Juventus.
The goalkeeper can even boast silverware at worldwide degree, having been a part of the Germany squad that received the U21 Euros in 2017 earlier than switching his allegiance to Greece.
Having signed a brand new Benfica contract in March, Vlachodimos appeared set to proceed his progress on the Estadio da Luz.
However that progress got here an abrupt halt after Benfica fell to a shock 3-2 defeat at Boavista on the opening weekend of the season, with Roger Schmidt, the coach, publicly criticising his goalkeeper.
Vlachodimos – who had been overwhelmed by a robust close-range end, a penalty and a one-on-one – challenged Schmidt over his feedback, with the pair’s relationship rapidly breaking down.
After only one recreation of the brand new season, Samuel Soares, a 21-year-old academy graduate, was put in as Schmidt’s No 1 – and Vlachodimos was in search of a brand new membership.
Regardless of being linked with Manchester United, it was Forest that sealed the deal, with Marinakis – the Greek transport magnate who additionally owns Olympiacos – swooping in to signal the Greece No 1, who is claimed to have lengthy dreamed of constructing the transfer to the Premier League.
However whether or not Vlachodimos might be Forest’s No 1 stays to be seen. As with final season, when Cooper had each Keylor Navas and Dean Henderson to select from at varied factors through the season, the supervisor has energy in depth between the sticks.
Matt Turner arrived from Arsenal final month and has began all 4 of their Premier League video games this season, together with holding a clear sheet within the 1-0 win at Chelsea.
Throughout these 4 video games, Turner has confronted an anticipated objectives on track (xGOT) complete of seven.7 however solely conceded six objectives – that means he has conceded 1.7 objectives fewer than anticipated.
The mix of Turner’s kind and Vlachodimos’ arrival imply Cooper has a choice to make over who at hand the gloves to for the resumption of the Premier League following the worldwide break, beginning towards Burnley on Monday, stay on Sky Sports activities.
However it’s headache for the supervisor to have as he appears to fulfil Marinakis’ want to return Forest to the highest of the tree.