It is fair to say that Nottingham Forest’s regular forays into the Portuguese market have delivered mixed results, but they appear to have unearthed a gem in Alfa Semedo.

That is a very sweeping statement to make two games into the new season, but the early signs have certainly been encouraging.

Semedo appears capable of being more Joao Carvalho than Gil Dias.

As things stand, he has actually delivered on the billing he arrived with.

A man dubbed ‘the Guinean Pogba’ has looked very much of that mould.

And without the daft haircuts or ‘look at me’ social media posts.

The 21-year-old has come in, knuckled down and got on with the business of playing football.

As it should be.


(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

New surroundings are never easy to adjust to, especially for those facing language and cultural barriers.

Semedo, though, has slotted seamlessly into the fold.

Forest will not face too many tougher tests than West Brom and Leeds.

A new boy in the middle of the park has come through those opening challenges with flying colours.

His reputation has already been enhanced, with the promise of more to come.

It is just a shame that he is another loanee at the City Ground, rather than a permanent addition.

Who knows, maybe there is a deal to be done there at a later date.

After all, anything could happen from this point.

For now, though, Forest appear to have found in Semedo the midfield general they have been crying out for.

The Reds have been able to, and still do within a vast squad, tick a number of boxes in the middle of the park.

Few options, though, combine both graft and guile.

Semedo offers both.

And seems to revel in doing the dirty work that allows either himself or those around him to get on with the pretty stuff.

The man from Guinea-Bissau has topped the charts for recoveries in both of Forest’s Championship outings to date.

He has gone and got the ball back on 17 occasions so far – with that return putting him five ahead of Joe Worrall and seven clear of Jack Robinson.


Nobody in the Reds squad has made more tackles either (six and counting).

Semedo also tops the pile when it comes to in-game duels, with 38 taken in across 180 minutes.

He has shown that he has the stomach for a second tier scrap.

Which is the kind of work that can go unnoticed at times.

Semedo has, however, also taken on eight dribbles so far – only Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi (nine apiece) have tried more.

He is not get it and give it.

Forest’s new general is more get and go with it.

Long may that continue!

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