This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Championship Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of West Ham United attacker Xande Silva, coming in as Chris Hughton’s eighth signing of the transfer window.
The 24-year-old, who can play on the wing or as a centre-forward, made just two senior appearances in three years at the London Stadium, failing to make his first-team breakthrough in the capital and eventually being shipped out on loan to Greek side Aris Thessaloniki for the 2020/21 season.
He recorded five goal contributions in 21 appearances in the Greek top division during the last campaign – but will be hoping to improve on this record with a fresh, permanent start in the East Midlands in the Championship.
Quiz: 12 of these 25 Nottingham Forest facts are fake – Can you identify them?
Silva impressed for the West Ham Under-23s, scoring eight times in seven games in Premier League 2 in his first season with the Hammers, although the Championship will be a different kettle of fish for the Portuguese attacker.
His new side Nottingham Forest scored just 37 goals in 46 league games last term – and they will be hopeful of a much-improved attacking record this season with the return of Brennan Johnson from his impressive loan spell at Lincoln City and Philip Zinckernagel coming in this summer to provide more firepower up top.
With the likes of Johnson, Zinckernagel, Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor all set to compete with Silva for a place in the first 11, it’s currently unclear whether the 24-year-old will be a guaranteed starter at the City Ground.
We asked three of our FLW writers to deliver their verdicts on this very question.
Xande Silva is certainly an attacking addition that was much-needed at Nottingham Forest on transfer Deadline Day and there is no doubt that the Reds have managed to secure themselves a player with a lot of potential here.
The attacker showed promising signs during a loan spell with Greek side Aris Salonika even if he was not massively prolific in the final third in terms of his output for goals and assists.
Nottingham Forest have other young and exciting attacking talents like Alex Mighten and Brennan Johnson that they can look to combine with Xande Silva and see if they can make things happen for the Reds in the final third.
The forward is at the sort of age now where he needed to move somewhere he could get regular game time and he must have felt confidence over his chances of making Forest’s starting line-up to have made the move.
It might be a case of bedding him in slowly over the first couple of games and seeing what he has to offer from the bench. Then if he can take his chance when he does come on there is no reason why he can not establish himself as a crucial part of the side.
I wouldn’t say so.
Silva, don’t get me wrong, is a much-needed, attacking option for the Reds. He can play on either flank and through the middle, he is versatile and ticks a few boxes.
At the moment, Alex Mighten, Philip Zinckernagel and Brennan Johnson will start behind the striker, so whether Silva can displace Grabban or Taylor remains to be seen.
But he is undoubtedly an intriguing signing for Forest, and at 24, he still has room for development and there is potential there.
I think he’s going to have to prove himself to Chris Hughton first.
Silva’s a versatile forward but you’ve got to think that the likes of Zinckernagel, Johnson, Mighten, and Lolley should be ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment.
The new signing deserves his chance but I’m not 100% that he should be a guaranteed striker.
I’d imagine he’ll be used from the bench regularly at the start but given their struggles this season, a few strong performances could see him rise up the pecking order quickly.
He can become a key player but he’ll have to prove himself.