Alfa Semedo burst out of the blocks at Nottingham Forest, but the international break has probably come at a good time for the 22-year-old.

He is, after all, on a steep learning curve.

Adjusting to the demands of the Championship is never easy.

Even for those brought up on a diet of English football.

For Semedo, a few eye-opening experiences have been taken in.

Thrown in at the deep end following his arrival on loan from Benfica, the promising midfielder has had to learn quickly how to keep his head afloat.

Sink or swim.

Early outings suggested that he was capable of gliding through the murky waters of the second tier.

In many ways he seemed tailor-made for the Forest engine room.

A physical presence full of direct running and not afraid to get stuck in, what was there not to like?

Spark

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 31: Nottingham Forest’s Alfa Semedo in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Preston North End at City Ground on August 31, 2019 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The ‘Guinean Pogba’ moniker which has followed Semedo around appeared fitting.

There was, however, always going to be a dip.

It arrived earlier than many had hoped.

The honeymoon period is over, with the adrenaline which got him through early on having been replaced by crippling lactic acid.

A spark has dimmed.

It hasn’t gone out, but it needs reigniting.

Taking a bit of a breather should aid that quest – for all concerned.

Sabri Lamouchi has more time to work with his players without the distraction of competitive action.

Tired bodies and minds can wind down and recharge.

In the case of Semedo, hopefully he will dive straight back in and find a positive stroke pattern.

Potential

 

More of what he produced against the likes of West Brom and Leeds is required.

Not his offerings against Charlton and Preston.

His cause can be aided if a set position and tactical approach is found, with Semedo struggling in a No. 10 role against the Lilywhites.

Forest, with Joao Carvalho et al at their disposal, really don’t need him to be filling that post.

It was a bit of a case of needs must in a final outing before the break, with Carvalho not fit enough to start and Tiago Silva asked to operate from deep.

Lamouchi, though, now has alternatives up his sleeve.

That can free Semedo to slot back into the middle of the pack, where he has the potential to shine brightest.

He has already shown what he is capable of.

And a wobble in a new country/culture is easily forgiven.

This is very much a case of break, not broken.