Jorge Mendes’ involvement in Nottingham Forest during the summer raised excitement levels after the superagent was close to the all-conquering Wolves side which earned promotion from the Championship last season.
Forest are desperate to clamber back into the top flight and having seen their fellow Midlands club benefit from access to players they would never have otherwise dreamed of, their fans were surely hoping for a repeat at the City Ground this time around.
Central to that excitement was Gil Dias, who joined the club on loan from Monaco in the summer. His pre-season form had fans hoping he could be Forest’s very own Diogo Jota; an elite talent on whom a promotion-winning campaign could be built.
But it hasn’t worked out that way. Dias has played 17 games in all competitions for Forest and is yet to get off the mark in the league; with his only goal coming in the EFL Cup win against Newcastle back in August.
So why hasn’t he been able to live up to the pre-season hype? Karanka’s style of play doesn’t help; his pragmatic approach was never going to allow Dias to express himself in the same way that Jota and Helder Costa can at Molineux.
Then there is the chopping and changing of the team and the fact that Karanka’s approach to both transfers and selecting his best team is more scattergun than Santo’s was last season.
Dias has the talent, but Karanka must unlock it sooner rather than later.