Fluminense may have shown big attacking quality in their campaign for the Copa Libertadores title this year, but it seems Nottingham Forest had their eyes somewhere else.
Reports from Brazil have been claiming the Tricky Trees are in advanced talks to sign Nino, the centre-back who captained the Tricolor, and that may be a smart shot from Steve Cooper’s side.
The 26-year-old turned into a solid piece in Fluminense’s defence, strong enough to command their back line, as well as having the ability to start plays with safe ball possession. Centre-backs don’t usually have very unique features to be talked about, but there’s a couple of reasons Nottingham Forest may have become interested.
Nino’s main qualities have a lot to do with the Fernando Diniz’s style of playing with a high defensive line. The centre-back stood out this year by winning important duels in midfield to stop the opposite side’s counter-attacks. He’s also been quite daring to come out of his original position to help fullbacks and midfielders with fast tackles. That was crucial for the Rio de Janeiro club to recover possession as soon as possible.
That daring, however, may end up being a flaw in specific situations, whether that’s him committing dangerous fouls or making mistakes which leave the defence open. So his adaptation to Nottingham Forest and European tactics would be something interesting to see.
In recent interviews, Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt claimed that he’s previously blocked Nino’s departure and promised the player that he’d accept offers after the Copa Libertadores campaign. So this is the time for those who want to sign him, and reports say talks with Nottingham Forest are very much advanced.
When Premier League clubs shop in Brazil, they usually go for young skilled midfielders and attackers carrying the prospects of South American talent. Nottingham Forest seem to be betting on something different this time, and that may end up as a bargain for them.