Nottingham Forest were left stunned when M’Bala Nzola pulled out of a deal to join the Reds at the eleventh hour. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Forest had agreed to sign the Spezia striker but he now looks set to head to Turkey.

The Reds tried desperately to sign a striker. At 25, Nzola was identified by the club’s recruitment team as a serious option. The player, however, wasn’t keen to leave Spezia to join a second-tier side.

Now, the player looks likely to join Istanbul Basaksehir instead. They are one of the bigger spending teams in Turkey and will play in Europe during 2021/22.

Spezia Calcio  v Torino FC - Serie A
(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Forest added Xande Silva to their ranks from West Ham. He is likely to provide more cover out wide, although he can play as a striker. Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor are likely to continue rotating in the attack.


Nzola was in decent form last season. He fired 11 goals in Serie A, despite a season of relative struggle for Spezia. The Angolan scored in a win against Napoli and also against Sampdoria and Lazio.

The two-time international is yet to play for Spezia this season. He missed the draw with Cagliari and also sat out of the 6-1 thrashing by Lazio prior to the international break.

Have Forest missed a trick over Nzola?

As an unknown quantity, the guess is that we’ll never know. Nzola clearly didn’t want to risk his reputation by joining the team sat bottom of the Championship and Forest missed out.

Spezia Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A
(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

The Reds left no stone unturned in their efforts to sign a striker. Ultimately, Chris Hughton will have to go with Taylor or Grabban for now and reassess things in January.

With both current strikers in their thirties, a younger option is definitely required. Forest can now do nothing other than monitor Nzola’s season with intrigue after his failed City Ground move.

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