PLAYER-hunting managers have been known to remark that they had to shop at Woolworth’s rather than Harrod’s.
Jose Semedo came to Hillsborough on a Bosman free in the transfer market but has proved to be a bargain, top-of-the-range League One midfield player..
Semedo likes value for money himself - as Nicky Weaver relates in explaining why the Owls hard man is such a likeable character and endears himself to team-mates.
When Semedo had moved to Charlton from Portugal he spoke hardly any English, so Weaver - newly signed as Addicks keeper - took him under his wing.
“We stayed in a hotel together; I used to take him shopping, or for something to eat; even when his girlfriend came over I used to take him to the supermarket,” he said.
“I took him to Poundland. I kept trying to explain to him that everything was £1. He kept picking things up and saying ‘Nicky boy, £1?’ I’d say ‘yeah’. I think he ended up spending about 50 quid and having about 10 carrier bags!
“Then I took him to Argos. He bought a food blender, You pay and they give you a ticket, don’t they? Then your number comes up. He thought he’d won something!.
“He’d come out for a bite to eat with the lads at Charlton. He couldn’t understand a word we were saying. We’d start laughing and he’d start laughing with us.
“He’s such a lovely lad. The lads here have really taken to him. I knew they would.
“Some of the things he says and does make you laugh. He’s been a great addition to the squad. He’s got a really nice way about him. He’s always asking how you are and how your family and kids are.
“He’s a genuinely nice bloke.”
But most opponents would not agree.
The 27-year-old is a tough and powerful
figure in the Owls midfield. “You’ll never get past Semedo,” sing the fans.
“He’s got that aggressive streak on the pitch,” says Weaver. “He’s a big, strong boy and does a lot of work in the gym. The fans have taken to him really well, as Charlton fans did when he first went there.
“He’s one of those players who gives everything. He’s settled in and done really well and hopefully that will continue.”
Semedo’s wages are unlikely to have cost peanuts but Gary Megson made him a priority signing
in the summer and it has paid off.
Weaver says: “Once Jose knew that Sheffield Wednesday were interested, that was the only place he wanted to come to.
“I spoke to him three or four times before the deal went through, and I was pleased when he signed.”
Megson has paid many a tribute to the ex-Addicks midfielder. He said this week: “I saw him ages ago when he first came over to England, and I was impressed with him then. He was playing right-back.
“I liked him as a player. When I went to speak to him [last summer] I liked him immensely as a person. I thought he’d really fit into what we were trying to do.
“I’m really pleased to say I’ve been proved right. He’s a fit lad, a great lad; as with any player there are things he can improve, but he could pay at a higher level, no doubt.”
Semedo was Charlton’s Player of the Year last season and manager Chris Powell was keen to keep him.
Powell says: “He was a tremendous character and player. But Jose wanted to exercise his right to see what was out there.
“He is a fantastic man, a good trainer who always wanted to do well. He is playing regularly and doing well, which I’m pleased about because he is a good man. He has already played against us at The Valley and got a good reception, but he is an opponent now and we obviously want to get one over on him.”