Let’s get one thing straight: Joao Carvalho is a fine player and could yet prove as much at Nottingham Forest.

There is, however, no escaping the fact that the Portuguese has become one of the most divisive figures to have graced the Reds’ ranks in recent memory.

Sell or stay? Saviour or scapegoat?

Opinion when it comes to Forest’s record signing is split, to put it mildly.

For every believer there is a detractor, a critic to counter any call for patience and persistence.

Both sides of the argument consider their view to be the correct one.

Debate/arguments have become an almost daily occurrence on social media when it comes to Carvalho.

Enough two-penneths have been offered to match the £13 million fee it required to secure the services of a mercurial playmaker.

With the promise for many more to come.

At least until a definitive decision is made on Carvalho’s future, with another transfer window about to swing open.

A move has been mooted.

Faith

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

Said rumours have delivered disgust and delight in equal measure.

The cash in and reinvest brigade have met their match in those calling for Sabri Lamouchi and Co to show a little faith.

There is obvious weight to be found on both sides of a sporting seesaw.

Carvalho is clearly capable and far from the finished article at 22 years of age.

He can also do nothing about a hefty price tag which continues to be used as a stick to prod him with.

The flipside of that coin is that he has to start offering more to the collective cause.

Forest cannot afford to be carrying passengers.

Carvalho should, in his second season at the City Ground, be leading a charge rather than being dragged along with it.

Another rather anonymous showing was put in against Wigan on Sunday.

Calls for him to be handed another chance from the start were heeded.

He lasted 55 minutes.

System

 

Within five minutes of him taking up a place on the bench, Tobias Figueiredo was nodding home a Tiago Silva corner.

Another Portuguese schemer has shown himself to be a better fit for a midfield berth.

Lamouchi’s system does not cater for the No.10 role considered to be Carvalho’s best fit.

To his supporters, that position – and only that position – will bring the best out of an enigmatic talent.

That is part of the problem.

Claims of ‘not his job’ are becoming slightly tiresome when it comes to tackling, playing out wide etc.

If he is asked to carry out those duties, then they are his job.

Carvalho cannot afford to be turning down work that he doesn’t fancy – as is the case in any other walk of life.

His position in the squad/team is not as clear cut as it is with others.

We are not talking about a goalkeeper, left-back or striker here.

Creative influences should, by definition, be fluid in their approach and Carvalho needs to show that he can change on the field in order to alter opinions off it.

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