Belgium Midfielder Close to Joining Nottingham Forest

Orel Mangala
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This has been a particularly busy summer window for newly promoted Nottingham Forest. There are a number of new faces at the City Ground and the business doesn’t end there. The newest arrival could be Stuttgart and Belgium midfielder Orel Mangala, with Florian Plettenberg reporting that a deal in principle has been agreed.

A Belgium Midfielder is Next on the Forest Radar

Where Mangala Fits in Under Steve Cooper

James Garner and Ryan Yates were key figures in the Nottingham Forest midfield as they gained promotion via the play-offs. The former has returned to his parent club Manchester United, though, and it seems that a return to the City Ground is out of the question. This and a pre-season injury to Yates means that midfield is one of a number of positions in which business needs to be done.

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Neco Williams has joined from Liverpool to replace Djed Spence whilst another former Anfield man, Taiwo Awoniyi, has been snapped up. The Nigerian was a prolific scorer with Union Berlin in Germany.

If Mangala comes through the door, it will be to fill Garner’s void. Jesse Lingard and Lewis O’Brien have been both signed in the middle of the park but only the latter could be expected to operate in a deeper role.

Yates proved to be fairly versatile but it seems most likely that he would be a defensive midfielder whilst Mangala was more central. Eighteen of his 22 appearances in Germany last term came in a more box-to-box, central role. O’Brien on the other hand was instrumental in Huddersfield Town’s superb campaign under the now departed Carlos Corberan so it’ll be interesting to see how the pair face off if Mangala is brought onboard.

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A Bit About the Belgium Midfielder

When he was coming up in the sport, the Belgium midfielder joined Borussia Dortmund on loan from Anderlecht. Whilst it didn’t work out in the famous black and yellow, this earned him his permanent move to German shores. The rest is history as they say with nearly 100 appearances to his name in a Stuttgart shirt.

Mangala, of Congolese descent, has made both of his two appearances for the Red Devils under Roberto Martinez in 2022. Prior to that, he featured going through all of their youth ranks. As the era of players like Axel Witsel comes to an end, there is space for Mangala to develop.

The Belgium midfielder was highly rated in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart and so this deal makes a lot of sense for all parties. Forest are nearing a complete squad as they try to hang on to their place in the promised land.