Fernando Forestieri: How the Italian is breaking the mould at Sheffield

Fernando Forestieri has had a tumultuous start to the 2015/2016 Championship campaign.

The young Italian has shown so much potential, but almost scuppered his progress after a spat with Sheffield Wednesday.

A goal against Wigan and Aston Villa means he is slowly beginning to find the form that saw him light up the Championship.

What can we learn from his past about why he refused to play and what could be his future?

 

Young prospect

The Italian youth International started out at 16 in Genoa. He was born and raised in Argentina but was poached at a young age and this move came with legal issues for Genoa.

He went through the rites of passage that everyone had to in Italian football (pre 2015), and was a part of a co-ownership deal involving Siena.

He was eventually sold to Udinese and joined the Pozzo dynasty.

 

Watford move

This meant a gateway to blighty and opened a loan and then a permanent move to Watford where Forestieri graced Vicarage road, scoring 17 times in 66 appearances.

Manuel Almunia who was between the sticks at the time even went as far to say he reminded him of a young Lionel Messi.

It is true that the stature and tenacious style of his play is reminiscent of the small magician, but I am not here to convince you he will be the next number 10 of Barcelona.

A Yorkshire version though? Perhaps.

For Watford he was good, but he was still under the Pozzo umbrella which meant constant upheaval and a successive line of managers came and went, giving him no stability or chance to impress.

When Watford were promoted last year, Forestieri found himself down the pecking order as yet another manager got the sack and new signings went to the top of the teamsheet.

Luckily, he had managed to make enough of an impression to make him hot property in the Championship with clubs lining up to make an offer.

 

Instant star at Sheffield

Sheffield Wednesday won the battle for his signature snapping him up on a four-year deal for £3 million.

He instantly rewarded the Yorkshire club by having a stellar season becoming the club’s top goal scorer in all competitions with 15.

Once again, it saw him in the sights of rival clubs and Derby lodged a $7 million bid in August. The bid was rejected and Forestieri stayed.

 

‘Refusalgate’

Cracks started to appear however after the Italian refused to play against Norwich. It was unsure whether it was to try and push through a move to Derby or getting more money.

Either way, the reputation he had built was in tatters.

The affair seems to have affected Wednesday’s season. They were left stuttering and chasing the likes of Newcastle and Huddersfield.

Forestieri is no longer the first name on the team sheet at the moment, either.

He needs to realise that the years of bouncing around on loan and from club to club means a bit of stability and games at a club like Sheffield Wednesday is exactly what he needs.

The league is littered with Italian failures in the form of Arturo Lupoli and Federico Macheda, whilst Fabio Borini and Vito Mannone have never lit up any league they were in.

 

Turnaround

Forestieri did show that it isn’t all about the money though with an incredible show of compassion when he gave £10,000 to the wife of Sheffield Wednesday’s fitness coach towards cancer care.

“He just turned up and said he wanted to make a donation to the fund,” said Hayley Kalinins who was fundraising for a specific breast cancer treatment in Germany.

Forestieri is now free to concentrate on his career and it is important he forgets about the whole ‘refusalgate’.

If he can cement his place in the team and continue scoring goals, then the right move will eventually come to him. There will be no need to force it through.

It is not too late this season either as his 2 goals bring him on par with himself last season and he ended on 15!

I hope he can help Sheffield Wednesday climb the table, he owes them.

 

Breaking the mould

Seeing him achieve success would break the status quo of his countryman in England and show us that Italians are capable of thriving in the English game.

He has got the best chance of any I have seen up till now.

 

Written by Edward Wade

Follow Edward on Twitter @wade_edward

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