Nottingham Forest were said to be getting a player valued at £25 million when doing a deal for Alfa Semedo in the summer of 2019.

According to the Nottingham Post, that is the price tag Benfica are said to have stuck on the 22-year-old midfielder.

Time is still on his side when it comes to justifying such a lofty billing.

It is, however, looking unlikely that full potential will be unlocked at the City Ground.

Which is frustrating because a spell on Trentside started so positively.

Semedo arrived in English football last summer with a ‘Guinean Paul Pogba’ moniker around his neck.

Such comparisons rarely do those involved any favours.

How many new Maradonas were there before Lionel Messi arrived on the scene?

On how many occasions has English football claimed to have found another Paul Gascoigne?

Semedo was, and still is, very much his own man.


(Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images)

It was, however, easy to see where the Pogba talk had come from across his opening outings for the Reds.

With power and pace in abundance, he looked to be a shrewd addition.

We are, however, almost three quarters of the way through 2019-20 now and questions still remain.

The most notable of which is: what is Semedo’s best position?

In the system favoured by Sabri Lamouchi, where do his qualities sit best?

He has been used in a few.

For the most part, the intention has been to get him making an impact in the final third of the field.

A No.10 role has been his at times.

Usually, though, especially early on, he was asked to operate alongside Tiago Silva.

There have, however, been occasions in which he has slotted in next to Ben Watson when a Samba Sow or Ryan Yates has not been around.

So is he a playmaker or an enforcer?


Does he blur those lines?

Semedo was the first player Lamouchi turned to for inspiration during the dour 1-0 defeat to Charlton in midweek, with Silva withdrawn just before the hour mark.

There are clearly benefits to be found in any player that blends both graft and guile.

Semedo, though, has rather fallen between two stools.

Like Pogba at Manchester United, bringing the best out of a clearly talented performer has proved tricky.

That is not through any fault of his own.

He can only fill whatever post is asked of him and perform, in what are completely new surroundings, to the best of his ability.

You get the feeling that there is a player in there.

Potentially one worth £25 million.

Forest, though, may not be the ones to truly benefit from that.

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