It’s a year to the day since Cafu swapped sunny Greece for an autumnal Nottingham, joining Forest initially on loan.

Cafu was a surprise signing. He was a relatively unknown quantity and checking in from Olympiacos meant he was met with frustration by supporters.

He soon won them over though. Cafu made 34 appearances in all competitions, becoming a first-team regular after breaking into the team in December.

Chris Hughton made his loan move permanent during January. He was impressed with his form and felt he was worthy of reward.

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The former boss called him a ‘very talented player’ during his time at the club. That was replicated with the amount of game time he was handed.

Now, fast forward a year and Cafu is facing limbo at Nottingham Forest. He has played for just 92 minutes in the Championship this season and is way down the pecking order.

That does seem strange. Last season, he was always a steady seven out of 10, passing the ball well, getting himself stuck in and fulfilling the box-to-box role nicely.

Perhaps his big downfall is a lack of goals and assists. He managed just two assists for the Reds during 2020/21 and didn’t find the back of the net.


Cafu hasn’t featured in a single Steve Cooper squad just yet and his days on Trentside look increasingly numbered.

James Garner has returned on loan, whilst Ryan Yates has been a mainstay in the Forest team this season.

On Saturday, Jack Colback came into the fold and produced a particularly good performance as Forest beat Birmingham 3-0.

None of this bodes well for Cafu. At 28, he will crave regular football and after starring last season, he may well find himself bemused at his lack of action.

Will Cafu leave Forest in January?

It will be a real worry that Cooper hasn’t chosen to utilise him just yet. Seeing a new manager check-in, he might have fancied his chances of impressing.

Even when the head coach did decide to mix things up at the weekend, there was still no place among the substitutes for Cafu.

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Forest do still have a fair amount of players in their squad. If Cooper is to try and land any of his own signings in January, some will likely have to leave.

One of those seems certain to be Cafu who must now be wondering what he can possibly do to force his way back into Forest contention.

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