Nottingham Forest are hoping to sign Wolves striker Léo Bonatini before the end of Deadline Day.
It’s set to be a very busy couple of hours at the City Ground. The Reds have been linked with a significant number of players. It remains to be seen how many of their targets sign on the dotted line.
Martin O’Neill picked up his first win at the weekend against Wigan. He will be hoping he has a few new players to choose from before this weekend’s game against Birmingham.
24-year-old Bonatini is one of the names being linked with a move to join the Reds before the end of the day. According to the Nottingham Post, O’Neill is looking to sign Bonatini on loan for the rest of the season, with a view to potentially making the move permanent in the summer.
It remains to be seen whether Forest can get the deal over the line before the window slams shut. It’s always easier said than done, as shown with Tyrone Mings yesterday.
In the meantime, Seat Pitch has taken a look at the pros and cons of bringing Bonatini to the City Ground.
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So what makes Bonatini a potentially good signing for the Reds?
First of all, he has experience of playing in the Championship with Wolves. Not only that, but he managed to score 12 goals in 29 starts for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side as they won promotion last season. That isn’t a bad return at all, and would’ve made him top-scorer at the City Ground in more recent campaigns.
If he does join on loan until the remainder of the season, he may be able to help the Reds secure a play-off place. He would certainly take the pressure off Lewis Grabban.
Secondly, the Reds are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements. Grabban and Murphy are the only out and out strikers currently available. Hillal Soudani continues to recover from his long-term injury whilst Karim Ansarifard is at the Asian Cup.
If O’Neill does reintroduce a 4-4-2 formation at some point, then Bonatini would give him another option other than just Murphy and Grabban. Considering Murphy’s recent comments about his workload, this is very much needed.
Bonatini also offers something different. He’s a striker that likes to drop deep and bring wingers into play. This is something that the likes of Joe Lolley could feed off. Forest have arguably lacked a striker that can effectively hold the ball up at times this season.
But there’s always cons to any deal, so why might Bonatini’s potential arrival at the City Ground not be such good news?
The fact that Bonatini isn’t a natural goal-scorer will concern many. He went the whole of the second half of last season at Wolves without scoring. However, this is largely due to Benik Afobe and now Raúl Jiménez being ahead of him in the pecking order.
In this case, he wouldn’t be expected to come in and score loads of goals. The Reds already have Lewis Grabban who has scored 14 league goals this season. If he can come in and form a good partnership with Grabban, then that would be just as valuable.
However, the other potential con is that the proposed deal is a loan move until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. This always seems to create complications for numerous reasons.
If Bonatini has a significant impact and fires the Reds to the Premier League, who’s to say Wolves won’t suddenly make it awkward and try and take him back to Molineux?
On the other hand, the fact it’s reportedly only a loan may have an impact on Bonatini’s commitment. When the going gets tough, he knows that he can just go back to Wolves. However, for most players with a good attitude, this should never become an issue.
After the arrival of Pelé earlier today, it remains to be seen how many more additions the Reds make.
But if they are able to seal a deal for Bonatini, it certainly seems a smart deal for all of the parties involved.