Nottingham Forest would be better off avoiding this 24-year-old Romanian top-flight star and here’s why

Nottingham Forest Opinion: Forest should not sign Hervin Ongenda

According to Nottingham Post, Nottingham Forest have been linked with a move for former French youth international Hervin Ongenda, with the report claiming that the two-time European Cup winners would need to fend off interest from several clubs across Europe in their pursuit of the 24-year-old. 

Nottingham Post understands that Ongenda, who currently plies his trade with Botosani in the Romanian top-flight, has only one year left on his current contract, which has put Italian clubs Chievo Verona and Brescia, as well as Hull City, on red alert.

Forest have already set the ball rolling in the summer transfer window with yet another triple raid on the Portuguese market, with new manager Sabri Lamouchi bringing in the likes of Yuri Ribeiro, Alfa Semedo and Tiago Silva.

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To go with those new arrivals, a few fringe players like Karim Ansarifard and Hillel Soudani have left the club and a few others are expected to follow suit before the deadline. 

However, Forest are seemingly not done yet with their business this summer and the fans at the City Ground might as well anticipate a few more fresh additions to the squad ahead of the upcoming Championship season. As a matter of fact, Hervin Ongenda, is the latest addition to Forest’s potential targets shortlist. 

Born in Paris, Ongenda started his career in the youth ranks of PSG and spent time with the reserve side before making his senior professional debut for the Ligue 1 heavyweights against lower division side Arras in the French Cup in January 2013.

Ongenda played against Bordeaux in the French Super Cup prior to the start of the 2013-14 season and scored after coming off the bench, as PSG went on to win the fixture. 

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The diminutive attacker made 6 appearances for PSG in his first full season but he was loaned out to Bastia in the following campaign, where he failed to find the net in 16 appearances. Ongenda returned to his parent club after an unsuccessful loan spell and the Ligue 1 giants sold him to Dutch outfit PEC Zwolle in 2017. 

That, however, hardly changed his fortunes, as Ongenda was released by Zwolle after making just 3 appearances.

The promising youngster was without a club for almost a year before joining Spanish second-tier outfit Real Murcia in March 2018 following a successful trial. Murcia’s gamble didn’t pay any dividends, though, and Ongenda drew a complete blank in the two appearances that he made in Spain. 

Romanian side Botosani offered the former PSG starlet an escape route last summer and Ongenda somewhat managed to breathe life into his faltering career with a few impressive performances.

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The 24-year-old accumulated 4 goals and 5 assists in 38 appearances for Botosani in all competitions this past season, which apparently has been enough to attract the attention of bigger clubs, including Nottingham Forest. 

Standing at 5ft 7in with a diminutive frame, Ongenda is not physically strong as such but he excels with his ability to run at defenders and take them out with his pace.

The former French U-21 star is not really an out-and-out centre-forward but he is at his best when deployed in a role behind the striker or out wide on the left-hand side of the pitch. 

To put things into perspective, it is very clear that Ongenda’s career has gone totally off the boil since his departure from PSG, and at 24, he is no longer a promising youngster.

His scoring record for the respective clubs is less than spectacular and barely suggests that he could be an upgrade on any of Forest’s existing attacking options, meaning that the City Ground faithful would only be increasing their wage bill by signing the player. 

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Furthermore, there is a high probability that Ongenda might struggle to cope with the unforgiving nature and the gruelling physicality of the Championship with his 5ft 7in frame and given that he doesn’t have much experience of playing in highly-competitive leagues, Forest would be better off not playing a gamble on the Frenchman. 

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Hence, if Forest are really serious about challenging for a playoff spot in the Championship next term, they might as well look for more competent players in the market.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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