Tiago Silva has stepped into the shoes of Joao Carvalho at Nottingham Forest this season, but will he fill a fellow countryman’s boots.

There is still work to be done there.

And it is not an unreasonable demand to be making of another Portuguese playmaker.

Silva’s main role in the Forest side is to provide creativity.

As was the case for Carvalho.

Who appears to have slipped even further into the shadows at the City Ground.

The absence of one Iberian has opened the door for another.

Silva arrived in England with a compatriot sidelined through injury.

Amid a lack of competition, he quickly set about making a starting berth his own.

Once Carvalho came back into contention, then there was a debate to be had.

Silva won that too.

He is a different kind of schemer to Forest’s record signing.

Luxury

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Carvalho is, in many ways, a luxury.

His game is all about flicks and tricks, getting bums off seats and providing a sprinkling of magic dust.

On the occasions when said qualities are contained – of which there have been plenty – he does not offer a lot else.

Silva, in contrast, is prepared to do his share of the dirty work.

He also boasts technical ability in spades, but can also be relied upon to track back and put a foot in.

With that in mind, he has edged Carvalho out of the equation.

To the point that he is now one of only three players to have graced every Championship fixture Forest have taken in this season – with Joe Worrall and Ben Watson being the others.

That show of faith is something that Carvalho has lacked.

He was a firm favourite of Aitor Karanka, but failed to convince Martin O’Neill.

Lamouchi seemingly sides with the more recent of his predecessors.

Silva is being given every chance to become a go-to man for the Reds.

Contribution

 

His contribution has been steady enough so far.

He is, however, ultimately a player that will be judged on end product.

As strikers are expected to chip in with goals, playmakers need to assist and make life easier for those around them.

Silva has two efforts to his name this season – one in the league – and four assists.

Across the 2018-19 campaign, Carvalho hit the net four times and teed up another eight – with three and six recorded in those respective categories by mid-February.

Silva is only halfway there on both overall counts.

Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi currently top him in the creativity stakes, with Matty Cash level and Joe Worrall only one assist behind.

Carvalho, with considerably less game time to his name, has recorded the same number of Championship goals.

Silva, of course, still has 14 games left to take in.

Given how selection has gone so far, he can expect to figure prominently in the run in.

And when he does, more is to be expected of him.

That is no slight on what he has done so far, it is merely par for the course when it comes to any side harbouring promotion ambitions and looking to cross the finishing line with a flourish.

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