With the transfer window creeping up, there will be a lot of eyes on Nottingham Forest and who they choose to sign ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Last summer, the Reds went on a signing spree and registered 14 new players, to mixed fortunes.

It’s highly unlikely they will do similar this time around under Chris Hughton, but depending how things fall into place, they might look to break their transfer record.

It’s a slim possibility, but if the Reds were to do so, it would be interesting to see how they’d compare against the most recent five, who are detailed here.

Teddy Sheringham Forest
5 October 1991, London – English Football League Division One – Queen’s Park Rangers v Nottingham Forest – Teddy Sheringham of Forest celebrates scoring a goal – (Photo by David Davies/Offside via Getty Images)

5. Teddy Sheringham – £2m

On July 23 1991, Forest broke their transfer record of just a few weeks (£1.4m for Carl Tiler) to sign Sheringham from Millwall.

The move was a very successful one and Sheringham scored 22 goals in 59 appearances in his first full season with the club.

However, while he did score the club’s inaugural Premier League goal – and the first Premier League goal to be broadcast on Sky in a 1-0 win over Liverpool – Sheringham didn’t stick around.

After just three games in the 1992/93 season, Sheringham left for Tottenham Hotspur for £100k more than Forest bought him for.

The move was a disaster as Forest didn’t replace Sheringham and went down, while his time at Spurs was sensational.

Sheringham finished top scorer of the Premier League that season and would subsequently be sold to Manchester United a few years after.

There, he was part of the 99 Treble winning side, before going back to Spurs and seeing out his career at Portsmouth, West Ham United and Colchester United.

Kevin Campbell Forest
24 Aug 1996: Kevin Campbell of Nottingham Forest (left) battles with Emerson of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough at the City Ground in Nottingham. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport UK Mandatory Credit:

4. Kevin Campbell – £3m

Having sold Stan Collymore for £8.5m, his replacement was Campbell from Arsenal and he joined in July 1995 as a First Division and an FA Cup winner.

Things didn’t start brilliantly for Campbell, with just nine goals in two Premier League seasons – Forest getting relegated in the second – but the tide soon turned.

In the 1997/98 campaign, Campbell was electric as he scored a staggering 23 goals in 45 appearances, shooting Forest back to the Premier League.

However, much like the Sheringham situation, Forest bizarrely chose to sell Campbell to Trabzonspor that summer, causing a plethora of issues.

In total, Campbell scored 35 goals in 96 appearances for Forest and many will wonder what might have been had they not sold him.

Pierre van Hooijdonk Forest
6 Feb 1999: Paul Scholes and Philipp Neville of Manchester United attempt to tackle Pierre Van Hooijdonk of Nottingham Forest during the FA Carling Premiership match against Nottingham Forest played at the City Ground in Nottingham, England. Mandatory Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport

3. Pierre van Hooijdonk – £4.5m*

Someone who accommodated Campbell exceptionally well in that 1997/98 season was van Hooijdonk, who signed from Celtic in a fee potentially rising to £4.5m.

Forest put down £3m up front in March 1997 and Celtic would’ve been due £500k had Forest survived relegation, plus an extra £1m had he scored 20 goals in consecutive seasons.

As we know, van Hooijdonk couldn’t keep the Reds in the league, but certainly helped get them back the year after.

Van Hooijdonk scored 34 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for Forest that year, linking up brilliantly with Campbell.

 

However, as mentioned earlier, Campbell’s departure aggravated van Hooijdonk to the point he used that – and other things – to go on strike.

As such, he didn’t play in the first three-and-a-half months of the 98/99 Premier League season, but was still second top scorer with six.

His last goal for the club was a 90th minute free kick in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool and in total he scored 41 goals in 77 games for Forest.

Britt Assombalonga
CARDIFF, WALES – APRIL 17: Britt Assombalonga of Forest in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest at Cardiff City Stadium on April 17, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

2. Britt Assombalonga – £5.5m

17 years after van Hooijdonk signed, Forest broke their record fee when they signed Assombalonga from Peterborough United for £5.5m.

The move was a resounding success and Assombalonga immediately scored goals by the bucket load for Forest.

However, on his 29th league match – and having scored 15 goals – Assombalonga picked up a serious injury that left him sidelined for a year.

He made four appearances the following season, bagging one goal, but then made a telling contribution in his third season.

Assombalonga scored 14 goals in 32 league games as the Reds survived Championship relegation on the final day of the season – on goal difference.

That summer, Assombalonga was sold to Middlesbrough for £15m and there, while not quite being as lethal as he was at Forest, has scored 47 in 159 at time of writing.

With Forest, Assombalonga bagged 30 in 69 and he is still a popular figure among some of the Reds fanbase today.

Joao Carvalho
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: João Carvalho of Nottingham Forest scores his team’s third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on November 27, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

1. Joao Carvalho – £13.2m

It will always be a divisive topic, but Carvalho hasn’t quite yet hit the heights fans hoped for when he signed for £13.2m in 2018.

In his first season, Carvalho was brilliant – four goals and eight assists in his first foray into English football, although his progress was significantly halted by Martin O’Neill.

Under Aitor Karanka, Carvalho was the gem in the side, but under O’Neill, he was swiftly removed and this sparked a huge fall out among fans.

Under Sabri Lamouchi, it was hoped that things would improve for Carvalho, but he didn’t really fit into his tactical plans.

Lamouchi wasn’t anywhere near as cold as O’Neill, but still made the decision to loan him out to Almeria at the start of this campaign.

It remains to be seen whether Almeria exercise their option to buy with Carvalho, but many fans are hoping that he finally gets a chance to show what he can do under Chris Hughton.

In total, Carvalho has six goals and nine assists for Forest in 66 games, but many of these have been from the bench.

Who would you like to see Nottingham Forest break their transfer record on?

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