I've changed my mind about Fernando Forestieri: Chris Holt's Sheffield Wednesday Column
Way back at the start of the season I advocated selling him. The performances in the past few weeks have forced me into a complete turnaround.
Fernando Forestieri has been nothing short of superb since returning to the side following a knee operation in early September and that comeback has helped lift the gloom from what has been a hugely disappointing season.
Without going too far over old ground, the basis of my belief that cashing in on Forestieri during the summer transfer window was the right thing to do (and I stand by what I felt at the time) came down to where he fits into the team more than anything else.
At that time there had been suggestions by then boss Carlos Carvalhal that playing in a wider role as part of a midfield four was not getting the best out of him. At least that’s what the player apparently told the coach.
And it was difficult to see how he would fit in up front, of course this coming at a time when everyone was fit and Wednesday had literally more strikers available to them than they knew what to do with.
In some ways the injury he had been carrying and the subsequent decision to have an operation that was quite obviously needed, gave Carvalhal an easy ‘out’ and the decision was taken from him.
They were also in dire need of strengthening in other departments and with not as much money around as had previously been the case, the big fee Forestieri would have brought in, could have helped to bring in targets who would otherwise be outside of the club’s financial constraints.
None of that matters now because frankly we’ve all been blinded by the player’s brilliance and in the wake of everything that went on in his absence, it would simply be considered madness to now let him leave.
All the problems in the past have been forgiven by most, if not totally forgotten, and his contagious enthusiasm has brightened up the end of a season that promised much and delivered little more than relief that it didn’t end up getting THAT bad.
Some smiles have returned to Hillsborough and it’s the tricky Argentinian forward who has in large part brought about their return.
Now, instead of Carlos Carvalhal trying to find a space for Forestieri, the man at the helm, Jos Luhukay, should be looking towards building a team around a player who is once again the Owls’ talisman.
That goal against Reading last Saturday was stunning and you get the sense that a good pre-season and a hunger to make up for lost time - as will be felt by many - could mean we could see its like a lot more next term.
Forestieri has changed my opinion of him, and I am sure I am not the only one.