Léo Bonatini left Wolverhampton Wanderers for Nottingham Forest on loan in January but has played just 158 minutes of football in the Championship.
Bonatini’s switch to join the Reds looked like an ideal opportunity for him to get some minutes under his belt.
It’s fair to say that the 25-year-old striker played an integral role in Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League. He scored 12 goals in his first 23 appearances for the club, before badly fading in the second half of the campaign.
Following the addition of Raúl Jiménez, Bonatini had tumbled well down the pecking order at Molineux. Nuno Espírito Santo felt it was best for him to go in search of first team action elsewhere, which led to him joining the Reds.
Forest, meanwhile, signed a proven goalscorer who is currently valued at £4.5 million by TransferMarkt.com, having scored 57 goals in 168 appearances in his career previously.
But a switch that looked perfect for the striker on paper has been anything but in reality.
The Reds suffered another disappointing result at the weekend as they lost 2-1 away at Rotherham United. Despite their lack of attacking threat, Bonatini was nowhere to be seen, as he failed to make an appearance for the sixth time in 11 matches.
In fact, the Brazilian striker has only played 158 minutes of football for the Reds, with just two starts against Brentford and Hull City. Martin O’Neill has left him out of the matchday squad completely in the last three games.
According to the Express and Star, Wolves spent £5 million on signing the striker on a permanent deal from Al-Hilal last summer. It isn’t a surprise that they are looking to recoup as much of that as possible by giving the Reds the option to make Bonatini’s loan permanent this summer.
But it doesn’t look likely that the Reds will take up that offer. The striker’s goal drought doesn’t show any sign of ending soon. He now hasn’t found the back of the net in a league game since 4 December 2017.