Diogo Goncalves didn’t really get a proper chance at Nottingham Forest but his career seems to be on an upward trajectory.
Last night, the 23-year-old made his Europa League debut for Benfica, starring in a 3-0 win over Standard Liege.
Goncalves arrived at Forest alongside Joao Carvalho at the start of the 2018/19 campaign, with Gil Dias completing a trio of Portuguese captures.
Aitor Karanka used the winger sparingly and he found first-team opportunities hard to come by.
The flyer started just once for the Reds in the Championship during an opening day 1-1 draw away at Bristol City.
He made just six further appearances all as a substitute and never came close to tempting Forest into parting with the optional £17.2 million that had been agreed as part of the loan.
Last season, Goncalves was loaned out by Benfica. He joined Famalicao, scoring seven goals and claiming 10 assists in all competitions.
Now, it seems as though he has a future at Benfica. He completed 90 minutes last night in a surprising right-back role.
He played alongside former Premier League duo Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi, as Benfica claimed an important victory.
Goncalves played in the first match of the season for Benfica – a 5-1 win over the club he was on loan at during 2019/20, Famalicao.
He was then out of the squad for three matches but returned to the bench for the Monday’s game against Belenenses.
Following his appearance last night it would seem that Jorge Jesus considers him as part of his plans this season.
Forest fans didn’t see much of Goncalves, although he rarely showed too much promise when called upon.
The ex-Portugal under-21 star did look a little lightweight and found the physicality of the Championship tough.
That said, it might interest Forest supporters to learn that he’s now making an impact at Benfica.
Last night, in his defensive role, he did get cautioned but finished with a pass success ratio of 93% and also made three successful tackles (Who Scored).
Goncalves was another victim of Forest’s often bizarre recruitment policy.
All too often in recent years, the Reds have added players from overseas who quite simply have been nowhere near good enough.
A regular run was never forthcoming at the City Ground and both parties have now moved on.
At 23, Goncalves could still improve and one day he’ll hope to become a first-team regular with the Portuguese giants.
Certainly as Benfica progress in Europe, the youngster will hope to continue impressing his boss.