Dean Henderson has told TalkSPORT that he believes that Nottingham Forest have signed a gem in Orel Mangala. The goalkeeper has thrown his weight behind the Belgian midfielder just days before the Premier League season gets underway.

The 25-year-old was one of Forest’s first summer signings. Since he checked in, he’s been joined by 10 more new signings, with Taiwo Awoniyi putting pen to paper shortly before the Manchester United man checked in.

Mangala is the latest man to join Steve Cooper’s squad. He has swapped VfB Stuttgart for the City Ground having been at the club for three years and he bolsters the midfield ranks with Ryan Yates currently nursing an injury.

Henderson says Mangala gem
(Photo; Chris Brunskill; Getty Images)

The 24-year-old made 109 appearances for his former club. He typically operates in the middle of the park as a box-to-box option but he can also take care of defensive duties if required to do so.

Forest have signed Lewis O’Brien this summer too. He and Mangala will join Yates and Jack Colback in competition for places in Cooper’s midfield engine room.

Henderson is excited by Mangala though. He’s only seen him a few times in training and he has raved about the young maestro.

He told TalkSPORT: “I think we’ve got a gem, he’s unbelievable.

“He wants the ball, he’s quick, he’s powerful, he’s got everything. I’m really excited to see him.

“Moussa (Niakhate) was telling me, he played against him and he said he was top and if we get him it’d be amazing.”

Henderson believes Mangala is a gem and he could star at Forest

The goalkeeper has been in training with Forest for a few weeks. He’ll likely believe that the club have done some very good business but it’s Mangala who has won his praise.

There should be plenty of chances for Mangala to stake his claim for a place. Immediately, Cooper will have a tough decision to make over whether or not to throw him straight in on Saturday.

Henderson says Mangala gem
(Photo; Harry Langer; DeFodi Images; Getty Images)

It would be a baptism of fire for the youngster. Newcastle are fancied for a strong season during 2022/23 and Saturday will represent a ferocious test.

It could, however, be a good chance for Mangala. If Yates is ruled out through injury, handing the youngster a chance to shine makes perfect sense.

Henderson would certainly endorse such a decision!

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