It is a comparison that the whole of football will be looking to make this summer, Nottingham Forest’s pursuit of players represented by Gestifute draws obvious parallels with Wolves from 12 months ago.
Forest have signed two Portugal-based players so far, most recently landing Gil Dias from Monaco after a season at Fiorentina. Dias may not have been based in Portugal, but he’s every bit a Jorge Mendes man.
Are Forest merely walking the well-trodden path to the Premier League, retracing Wolves’ moves step by step as a blueprint to the top flight? Or is it lazy journalism to suggest that they’re doing so, comparisons drawn merely by the agency representing the arrivals and nothing more?
The key is in the spending patterns and one thing does stand out, both have shelled out a lot of money on a marquee player. Ruben Neves dropped into Molineux courtesy of a £16.11m fee and was crucial in their success last season.
Joao Carvalho has arrived at the City Ground for a slightly smaller fee this summer, £13.5m. That’s still not small change in the second tier but, if he has the impact that Neves did for Wolves, it will be money well spent.
That is where the comparisons end at present. Forest’s other arrivals have been on loan, whereas Wolves spent more money. They paid £2.7m for Roderick Miranda, a defender with just 16 outings to his name last season.
Spanish forward Rafael Mir joined too, he cost them £1.8m, not in the Neves or Carvalho bracket, but still a decent sum. He came off the bench twice without a goal in the Championship.
Barry Douglas represented far better value for money, he cost just over £1m and went on to feature in 39 league games wearing gold and black. Ben Stevenson cost £513k, but went out on loan to Colchester without making an appearance.
What is worth noting is two of those spends came in January, so these figures need another six months to ferment before they’re truly comparable, but if Forest spend another £9m, in total, then they will be close to matching Wolves last season. What that does not guarantee is success, but the early indications are they’re making a real attempt at finally getting back into the top flight.
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