Léo Bonatini is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season.
Even though he’s played less than 100 minutes of football for the Reds, he’s already talking about staying at the City Ground beyond the summer.
That should be music to Martin O’Neill’s ears.
It proves that it’s currently a good place to be, even if he’s struggling to get in the team at present.
According to the Nottingham Post, the Reds are understood to have the option to turn the deal into a permanent one in the summer.
You’d expect Bonatini to be given more of a chance before the club decide to take that option. It would be silly to pay a fee for a player who has been solely limited to substitute appearances whilst on loan.
He’s got his work cut out to earn his chance, as both Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy have done a good job over the course of the season.
A good place to be
The fact that Bonatini is already speaking about a long-term future at the club
goes to show how well he has settled in.
Whether or not the Reds are competing in the Premier League or the Championship next season seems irrelevant to the 24-year-old. He is happy to stay whichever division they are in.
He told the Nottingham Post: “It is a really good team and they have very good conditions here.
“Even if we don’t achieve the play-offs and we are staying in the Championship next season, I would like to stay because I have found it really good.
“But of course I know that it is not just about me; I have a contract with Wolves. But I am enjoying being here.”
There can often be a significant amount of pressure on loan players’ shoulders to prove their worth. This is often necessary to secure any longer term deal.
This doesn’t seem to be the case with Bonatini. Although he’s only made four appearances, his time at Wolves proved he has what it takes.
He was a regular feature in Nuno Espírito Santo’s promotion-winning side. He scored 12 goals last season. If it wasn’t for the loan signing of Raúl Jiménez, he’d probably still be playing regularly at Molineux now.
“I wouldn’t say there is pressure. I am enjoying being here at the club,” Bonatini told the Nottingham Post.
“They have given me the opportunity to play and to have some minutes. I am here to help them.
“I’m here to help them and to hopefully achieve the play-offs, then we will go hard to achieve our goal.”
The Reds have two important home games coming up against Hull and Aston Villa. It’s an opportunity to get themselves closer to the play-offs.
He’s likely to be competing with Murphy for a starting place at the weekend. If he’s given the nod, he’ll be desperate to make an impression.