Nottingham Forest raised the recruitment bar in 2018, but will they do the same 12 months on?

The last summer transfer window saw the Reds speculate to accumulate.

Big money was made available to Aitor Karanka.

He was happy to splash the cash during an elaborate spending spree.

In the end, Forest got little return on that investment.

A ninth-place finish is a step in the right direction, but nowhere near the ultimate goal.

With that in mind, will Martin O’Neill be afforded the same luxuries as his predecessor?

Evangelos Marinakis’ pockets are certainly deep enough to make that the case.

Ambitious plans have been drawn up by those steering the Reds ship.

A redeveloped City Ground is intended to play host to Premier League football, with 20 years having passed since top tier entertainment was seen on the banks of the Trent.

Budgets

(Photo by Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

In order to get over that line, more funds are going to be required.

The likes of Arsenal and Tottenham have shown that construction works can impact events on the field, with budgets cut accordingly.

But Forest are not rebuilding, they are giving their home a facelift.

That should help the cash flow situation.

Which will be music to the ears of O’Neill and thousands of supporters around the world.

Those on the bench and in the stands are looking for the right additions to be made.

Some may not come cheap, but the Reds need to roll the dice again.

That is not to say that throwing money at a problem is the best way to solve it, but clearly more needs to be done here.

And if Marinakis is prepared to sign a few more cheques, than the history books could be rewritten once more.

Purchase

 

Last year, a £13 million deal for Joao Carvalho saw the club more than double the price tag of their previous record buy.

Lewis Grabban was then acquired for a fee slightly higher than the £5.5m mark of one Britt Assombalonga.

Two new entries to the purchase chart, and in the top two spots.

More of the same could now be on the cards.

It would be a surprise to see Carvalho knocked from the summit, but some notable figures from the past could be pushed out of the top five.

As things stand, David Johnson – who is hoping to see son Brennan make his mark next season – and Pierre van Hooijdonk occupy lofty perches.

The former, and potentially the latter, could slip down the standings if more sizeable deals are done this summer.

Given how many goals that pair managed between them – plus those of Assombalonga – there will be some weight of expectation on anybody who tops their respective price tags.

That, though, is modern football and the market has inflated dramatically since Van Hooijdonk and Johnson were acquired on opposing sides of the 21st century turn.

Even average now comes at a cost, but Forest are aiming much higher than that and may be about to prove so once more.

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