A late bloomer in the world of football, Nuno Da Costa has made some great strides in the past few years, going from Aubagne in France’s amateur leagues to the Championship in the space of four and a bit seasons.
Playing at both Valenciennes and Strasbourg before teaming up with Sabri Lamouchi at City Ground, the Cape Verde international made a name for himself in France, and while he wasn’t always in the starting line up, it was still a bit surprising to see him leave midway through the season.
Speaking to Chronos in France during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 29-year-old was asked why he’d chosen to go to Nottingham Forest.
He said: “I think it was interesting for me. I’m 29, I didn’t have the game time I wanted at Strasbourg, and I got this phone call from Nottingham and the manager convinced me to believe in that project, and I think we can do nice things.
“If I didn’t see the point, I wouldn’t have gone. Considering the club was in a good spot to go up, and it still is in the playoffs, I think that and the fact the manager guaranteed me game time and that I’d be happy, I accepted.”
The player explained Nottingham Forest were doing everything they could to try and help Da Costa and his family (his wife and his two year old child) to settle as quickly as possible in the area, having had their lives suddenly changed towards the end of January.
As for why he hasn’t played all that much since he arrived, the striker made it clear the Championship club want to make sure he’s fully ready and fully fit to cope with the demands of English football before throwing him at the deep end.
That might have to wait with the current conditions in place and football suspended, but Da Costa feels he is now ready to go, and, while still attentive to the government’s requests of staying indoors, couldn’t wait to get back on the pitch, whether or not fans are present in stadiums.
And finally, towards the end, the striker revealed he did have some contacts with a Premier League club last summer (Norwich City), but nothing came of it.