Nottingham Forest have made 30 signings since their return to the Premier League, ranging from a UEFA Champions League keeper in Keylor Navas, to a veteran of the game in Andre Ayew. The Ghanaian was the most recent addition and he earned the move off the back of an impressive World Cup campaign with his nation.
Adding much-needed leadership to the squad
Forest have made many signings that are proven in the English leagues, but suitability is not necessarily enough to stay up. The team required added experience to give them the greatest chance of avoiding relegation. Players with the know-how of how to win tight games, and how to remain composed in high-pressure moments were vital. The likes of Ayew provide just that - a proven goalscorer as well as a natural leader. In soccer betting, Forest are offered at +188 to be relegated by bwin and are certainly not one of the clear relegation favorites due to their smart acquisitions in the January transfer window. Furthermore, bwin offers leading odds across many competitions as well as various offers and price boosts. Forest's strategy was key in the winter window, they sought out experienced profiles within the European game that could improve the starting lineup. Alongside Ayew upfront and Navas between the sticks, Brazilian defender Felipe joined from Atletico Madrid. Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood were also solid additions from Newcastle United, who have both participated in relegation battles before.
📝 𝗗𝗘𝗔𝗟 𝗗𝗢𝗡𝗘: Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of Felipe from Atlético Madrid. Contract until June 2024.
(Source: @NFFC) #DeadlineDay pic.twitter.com/IidlNsHc0c
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 31, 2023
How did Ayew capture the interest of Forest?
Ayew caught the interest of many Premier League clubs after an impressive FIFA World Cup campaign. The former Swansea forward was instrumental for his nation despite finding the net just once, against Portugal in the group stage. It is a rarity for a forward player to be the leader of their team but Ayew was a vital mentor for the inexperienced Ghana squad. He has appeared at several World Cups and is well accustomed to performing on the highest-pressure stage. His confidence and composure certainly filtered down to his teammates in the victory against South Korea. Aside from the belief he instilled in his teammates, his individual performance as a secondary striker was crucial to victory. Ayew relentlessly pressed the opposition's defense to pin them back and allow Ghana to play on the front foot for the majority of the 90 minutes.
Ayew's impact on the inexperienced Ghana team was huge. Often teams that are filled with quality can be unsuccessful due to a lack of leadership and direction. But the 33-year-old helped spearhead their World Cup efforts and took the pressure off some of the other players. Ayew's international performances paved the way for one last Premier League adventure. Forest beat Everton to his signature in February after he was released by Al Sadd.
Ghana captain Andre Ayew has joined Nottingham Forest on a free transfer following his recent departure from Qatari side Al Sadd. Deal runs until the end of the season.
via @NFFC pic.twitter.com/cIextUYaNw
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) February 2, 2023
Overall, Ayew is a selfless forward player that helps bring the best out of his teammates. He certainly offers goals but most importantly of all he offers experience and leadership which could certainly provide the difference in a relegation dogfight. The experienced players signed in January will all be vital in Forest's fight to maintain their Premier League status at the end of the season. The Nottingham club now have an ideal balance of quality and experience within the squad.