Should Sheffield Wednesday sell Fernando Forestieri?

Sheffield Wednesday were unlucky not to earn Premier League football last season and are one of the promotion favourites this campaign. The signing of Fernando Forestieri was one of the reasons for their recent success and he showed how influential he can be during the opening weekend, scoring the winner against Aston Villa. There was positivity around the club going into the new season, but that was put under threat by the news that Forestieri refused to travel to Carrow Road this weekend.

 

The Argentine has become unsettled due to the speculation around his future and it is clear that he is considering his options this summer. Derby County have had a £7 million bid turned down for the striker, while Newcastle United are believed to be interested in bringing him to St James’ Park. Wednesday won’t want to sell him to a league rival, but keeping him against his will could have an even worse effect on the squad.

He was one of the best players in the Championship last season and it isn’t surprising that other clubs in the league are targeting him. Forestieri is a versatile attacker, capable of playing as a striker or as an attacking midfielder. Last season, he was used in an advanced role for Wednesday and was given the freedom to roam with devastating effect. He averaged 3.4 shots per game and scored 15 league goals.

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Against Aston Villa in the opening game, he was superb and was a constant threat. His ability to find space and get shots in on goal mark him as one of the most dangerous attackers in the division. Wednesday have built a good side, which is both organised and threatening in the final third. They missed Forestieri against Norwich on Saturday, showing how hard it is going to be to replace him if he does leave.

It is a difficult situation for the club, as he is their best player. Their attacking game is centred on Forestieri and their promotion hopes could be tied to him. Also if they sell him, they will be strengthening a rival and with only just over two weeks to go in the transfer window, they will struggle to replace him sufficiently.

However, it can be damaging for morale to keep a player who openly wants to leave. It is never a good sign when a player decides not to play due to interest in him and Forestieri has definitely had his head turned. Both Newcastle and Derby will be able to offer him higher wages, which could lead to him forcing through a move.

 

Manager Carlos Carvalhal said this on Forestieri after the match: “The chairman doesn’t want to sell any player. That’s what he has told me. I can’t tell you more than this.

“Fernando has a contract for three years. He belongs to us. We don’t want to sell any player.”

It is odd that Forestieri has had his head turned this quickly as Wednesday appear to be a club on the up and are one of the favourites for promotion. A move to Newcastle or Derby isn’t a huge step up, if one at all and he is guaranteed a prominent role in the Wednesday side. This may not be the case if he decides to move on.

The next few days are crucial in the future of Forestieri. Although the club may not want to sell him, the choice could be taken out of their hands. They need to sort this situation out quickly as it could have a devastating effect on the morale of the rest of the squad ahead of their upcoming fixtures. They could force him to stay and slowly reintegrate him into the side, but this doesn’t always work and there is no guarantees that he will motivate himself to play for Wednesday. If an offer comes in that is over £10 million, selling him could be the best option, before things get even more toxic.


Featured image: All rights reserved by Sheffield Wednesday

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