When Sheffield Wednesday announced the signing of Fernando Forestieri in 2015, their supporters had every right to be excited given his previous escapades at Watford.
A stand-out performer for the Hornets during his two-year stint at Vicarage Road, the Italian helped the club secure a return to the top-flight by firing in 5 goals in the Championship.
Yet with Quique Sanchez Flores taking over the managerial reigns from Slavisa Jokanovic, Forestieri was made surplus to requirements by the Spaniard. With the forward available for transfer, then-Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal convinced him to make the switch to Hillsborough.
With Wednesday revealing on Twitter that they had completed a deal for Forestieri, loads of their fans gushed over the news.
— Craig Cardona (@Craigc28) 29 August 2015
— mick fisher (@mickowl2) 29 August 2015
@swfc Can You Hear The Drums Fernando.. Best Buy In Years..
— EccOvOwl (@EccOvOwl) 29 August 2015
— Travis (@RealProVokeR) 29 August 2015
— Grant Roberts (@GrantR_1867) 29 August 2015
— Thomas Martin (@tommyowl1867) 29 August 2015
— Spiderbones (@ddaardvark) 29 August 2015
Signed for a fee believed to be in the region of £3.71m (via Transfermarkt), the 29-year-old knew that he had to prove his worth in his debut season. After failing to find the back of the net in his two appearances for the Owls, Forestieri opened his account by scoring the opener in a 3-2 victory over Fulham.
From that moment forward, the former Udinese star never looked back for Wednesday as he added another 14 to his total whilst also providing seven assists for his team-mates as Carvalhal’s side secured qualification for the play-offs.
Having helped his side see off Brighton in the semi-finals of the competition, Forestieri would have been confident that he could provide the firepower needed to overcome Hull City at Wembley Stadium.
Yet in a clash which was dominated by the Tigers, the forward was given very few chances to express himself in the final and was left heartbroken as the Owls succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.
Although Forestieri would impress once again in the following campaign by being directly involved in 18 goals for his side, he, unfortunately, played a defining role in Wednesday’s play-off semi-final defeat against Huddersfield Town.
With both fixtures ending in a draw, the forward missed the decisive penalty in the shoot-out which allowed the Terriers to progress in the competition.
Since this disappointment, Forestieri has only been able to have a limited impact for the Owls over the past two years as he has faced a significant amount of time on the sidelines due to a myriad of injury problems.
However, when he has been fit enough to feature, the former Watford star has produced several moments of magic with his most recent contribution coming against Norwich City last month. With his team trailing 1-0 to the Canaries, Forestieri fired in a spectacular long-range effort which stunned everyone at Carrow Road.
If he can replicate this level of performance next season, there is no reason why the Owls cannot launch a sustained push for promotion.
Wednesday fans, what were your first thoughts when Forestieri initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.