Martin O’Neill explained why Leo Bonatini has hardly featured for Nottingham Forest since joining on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, admitting “it has been tough” for the centre-forward at the City Ground.
Bonatini has made just five appearances for Forest since his temporary move in January – racking up a meagre 158 minutes of Championship football. His last appearance was more than a month ago and it doesn’t appear he’ll have a future in the East Midlands.
Forest have the option to sign the 25-year-old permanently this summer, but his lack of playing time makes it unlikely that the club will make a move. O’Neill’s recent comments about Bonatini make for grim reading too.
He said to Nottinghamshire Live: “He is not our player, so I am not so sure I should be making any serious comment about it. It has been tough for him, since he has come here.”
And when asked if Bonatini’s absence was down to a lack of fitness, O’Neill replied: “It has been tough for him, since he has been here.” With Lewis Grabban, Daryl Murphy and Karim Ansarifard for competition in attack, the Brazilian always faced a tough task to get regular playing time.
Bonatini was in and around the first-team upon his immediate arrival at Forest, featuring in five of Forest’s seven games between February and March. He hasn’t even made the bench for the last six weeks, however. Whether supporters will see him again this season remains to be seen.