While Wolverhampton Wanderers cruised to the Championship title with their Iberian influence shining through both on and off the pitch, Nottingham Forest’s Portuguese experiment didn’t exactly reap the same rewards.
Aided by super-agent Jorge Mendes, Forest brought Joao Carvalho, Diogo Goncalves, Gil Dias and Tobias Figueiredo to the City Ground during the summer of 2018.
But only one of those, £13 million record signing Carvalho, could be considered anything like a success. Both Dias and Goncalves gone and Figueiredo finds himself stuck behind Joe Worrall and Michael Dawson in the pecking order.
Though while Forest’s success in the Portuguese market can be best described as ‘mixed’, Goncalo Paciencia could have put a very different spin on things had he followed Carvalho and co to the East Midlands last year.
According to O Jogo, Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Paciencia from Porto. A month later, however, the rangy striker joined Eintracht Frankfurt instead and it’s fair to say he hasn’t looked back.
Frankfurt fans might have been worried when last season’s fearsome front three, Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller, all forced moves away from the Bundesliga high-flyers but, in Paciencia, they had a forward ready and waiting to step up to the plate.
The 25-year-old has rewarded coach Adi Hutter’s faith with nine goals already in 2019/20, including one in that 5-1 thrashing of Bayern Munich. Paciencia even opened his international account for Portugal in the 6-0 thrashing of Luxembourg last week after two years out of Fernando Santos’ plans. He's skilful, intelligent and brilliant in the air.
Now, Record is linking him with a move to England once again. This time, however, it’s Everton who are keen with Marco Silva hoping to welcome Paciencia to Goodison Park to the tune of £20 million in January.
Meanwhile, Forest are praying that Lewis Grabban stays fit with their Premier League dreams resting on his sloping shoulders.
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