Written by David Robinson
The Championship season ended in heartbreak for Sheffield Wednesday this season having lost the Championship Play-Off Final 1-0 to Hull City with an underwhelming display. The Wembley defeat will always leave a huge element of disappointment but on the whole the Owls have made big strides this campaign having finished 6th and put in some excellent displays. The arrivals of new faces under new management and owners have given the whole club a boost. Fernando Forestieri arrived from promoted Watford last summer for around £3 million and has made a huge impact at Hillsborough. Following the season he has just had, he can be regarded as a key player in the side and a star player in the league. I look at why he is now fulfilling his full potential in a blue and white shirt.
credit Matt Churchill
Forestieri has had a pretty good season with regards to injuries. The Argentinian born forward has not had a lengthy spell out which has allowed for more consistency in his game and an availability to the squad which has allowed him to play regularly. He has managed 35 league games this season which is a good total considering he has missed games through a few suspensions. This was not the case at Vicarage Road where injuries came all too often making it hard for Forestieri to get a run of games in the side. His style of play also meant that when an opportunity did arise, he would try to be too elaborate at times which made him an unreliable player during spells and therefore he was not selected on a regular basis.
Regular Game time
The 26 year old has shown quality throughout the season and this consistency has linked well with regular game time. Wednesday have quite a few forwards to choose from but they don’t have another player like Forestieri who can operate behind the main striker and create chances and score goals with magical moments. I feel that the Wednesday fans are seeing the best out of the former Watford man because he knows he is likely to be selected each week and as a result he has matured and become more of a team player which has then lead to both team and individual rewards.
The Italian has flourished in this Wednesday side and another reason for the success is the deployment of Forestieri in an effective system that really plays to his strengths. With players bombing on, on either flank and a free role given to the former Malaga man, he can cause havoc for defences as he is difficult to pick up and can get into lots of different areas. This has give him more space and more time to pick better decisions. With other attacking players to contend with, oppositions struggled to deal with his ability on the ball where he could really maximise his full ability. For me being just behind a striker and with options surrounding him, this is Forestieri’s best position. One that during his time at Watford he wasn’t played in. He was regularly part of the 2 in a 352 formation which I feel isn’t most suited to Forestieri. He would often drift too far apart from Deeney and have less space to work with, with plenty of bodies in the middle of the pitch.
With all these factors, it has been an incredible season for Forestieri, with the clubs player of the season award and 15 goals to show for his efforts, he will certainly be looking forward to being a key figure in another Sheffield Wednesday promotion push next season.
Sheffield Wednesday fans, how good has Forestieri been? What do you put his success down to? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Franziska