Last summer Nottingham Forest entrusted superagent Jorge Mendes to assist them in their attempts to utilise the European transfer market. 

On paper, the Reds made some eye-catching signings. Joao Carvalho and Diogo Carvalho joined from Benfica, whilst Gil Dias joined on loan from Monaco.

Carvalho was the club’s record signing and he enjoyed a successful first season in English football.

The other two arguably suggested the most promise on paper but failed to acclimatise to the demands of the Championship.

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Goncalves came on loan from the Portuguese giants with a £17.27 million option to buy clause inserted into the deal.

During his time at the City Ground, he failed to show anything like the form of a player worth so much money. In 10 appearances he failed to contribute either a goal or an assist and was largely disappointing.

Goncalves started just once in the Championship and three times in the Carabao Cup, compounding him to a thoroughly disappointing loan spell.

Things haven’t got much better for the man with eight goals in 13 appearances for the Portugal under-21 outfit.

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In the summer he was allowed to leave Benfica on loan once again. This time he joined Primeira Liga newcomers FC Famalicao for a similar season-long stint.

Goncalves’ new employers are doing well. They sit third in the top-flight of Portuguese football with 19 points from their opening eight matches.

Fortunes haven’t really changed for the 22-year-old, however. He is yet to start a game for his new charges, with just five substitute appearances to his name.

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Against Sporting Lisbon a brief cameo from the bench did see Goncalves register an assist. It is fair to say, however, that given the valuation placed on his head by Benfica, more will be expected from the youngster.

Goncalves is decent with both feet and as a result, he can operate on both flanks.


There has been little to suggest throughout his senior career that he has what it takes to become a success in senior football though and Benfica may be forced to rethink their valuation.

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Forest opted against placing inexperience on their flanks ahead of the current campaign. Sammy Ameobi and Albert Adomah both arrived on free transfers with the Reds going down the tried and tested route.

Given his mediocre start to life at his new club, the Reds will be counting their blessings that they didn’t fork out considerably to land Goncalves on a permanent basis.

Forest are far savvier on the recruitment front these days and the club were wise to look beyond the versatile winger.

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