The name of Paul Pogba has generated plenty of transfer talk this summer, and Nottingham Forest have got in on the act.

Kind of.

Alfa Semedo has linked up with the Reds on a season-long loan from Benfica.

And he arrives with a billing as the ‘Guinean Pogba’.

‘The next…’ or ‘the new…’ is not a moniker that sits well with many.

Semedo is no different.

He is an admirer of a World Cup-winning midfielder’s talents, but is eager to avoid comparisons to a player who is, for now, still on the books of Manchester United.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Semedo told Mais Futebol of the Pogba tag when signing for Benfica in July 2018: “It’s hard to accept, but everyone has their opinion.

“I never thought I was like him. But he is a great player, one of my idols.”

The link to Pogba is an easy one to make.

Semedo is a languid central midfielder who, at 6ft 2in tall, is just an inch shorter than a global superstar.

He boasts the ability to fend off opponents, a la Poga, and has similar gangly running style.

Driving runs through the middle of the park are his hallmark.

He is not afraid to put in a tackle and his game is very much box-to-box, with a 21-year-old engine allowing him to influence proceedings at both ends of the field.

Plenty of boxes ticked there.

If he can settle quickly at the City Ground, then there is plenty of promise to be unlocked.

The presence of several Portuguese speakers around him should aid that cause.

Semedo’s game would appear to be ideally suited to the Championship.

He has the potential to offer a bit of everything for Forest in the middle of the park.

Graft and guile.


The Reds already have options at their disposal that offer either or.

Claudio Yacob or Ryan Yates can hold, Joao Carvalho and Tiago Silva (another new boy) can create.

Semedo could, and that’s a very big could, offer assistance to both of those causes.

It may be that he proves to be an upgrade on fellow countryman Pele.

One man of Guinea-Bissau heritage with a big name to live up to offered flashes of brilliance last season during a loan spell from Monaco.

Here’s hoping that another steps up to prove that he really can be Pogba-esque.

And not in a throwing his toys out of his pram, spending far too much time on social media kind of a way!

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