Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of Mainz captain Moussa Niakhate for an initial fee of £10 million. The deal could rise to £13 million and the newest Reds star has been explaining what attracted him to sign a three-year contract at the City Ground.
Niakhate has joined his teammates at their training camp in Spain. Forest will play their maiden pre-season friendly tomorrow evening when they take on Coventry and the 26-year-old might get a chance to play.
The player has been a real fan favourite at the Bundesliga outfit. They finished eighth in the division during 2021/22 and narrowly missed out on claiming a place in European competition.
Forest have worked hard to get this deal over the line. Niakhate is a left-sided defender and he is also capable of playing as a left wing-back given that he’s extremely capable when it comes to carrying the ball.
Following his arrival at Forest, Niakhate has spoken for the first time. He’s delighted to be at the club and has spoken about a dream come true being fulfilled by arriving in the Premier League.
He told the club’s official website: “For me, it’s a dream to come to England and to sign for such a historic club in Nottingham Forest. The club is well known around the world and its fans are incredible.
“The Premier League is also the best league in the world and every player wants to play here. I’m just so excited to get started in pre-season, meet my new teammates and get ready for the new season.”
Niakhate signing completed and there is more to come for Forest
This won’t be the end of the business from a Forest perspective. There are still several areas that need to be addressed in Steve Cooper’s ranks and Niakhate is just one piece of the jigsaw.
It’s fantastic for Forest to finally get this deal over the line. Niakhate looks a fine player and statistically, he was one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga last season.
It will be interesting to see where the Frenchman is utilised. Scott McKenna operated on the left-hand side of the back three last season and perhaps he will move over to the central role now.
Niakhate won’t have come to sit on the bench. As a result, it will be interesting to see what Cooper has up his sleeve for the uncompromising player.