Nottingham Forest roared into automatic promotion contention yesterday, going third after a 2-0 win over Birmingham City. In Tobias Figueiredo, the Reds had a player who was bang in form.
The Portuguese star has come in from the cold with Steve Cook sidelined through injury problems. He hasn’t sulked and had stepped in determined to prove a point.
Figueiredo has been brilliant since he came into the ranks. He has slotted in seamlessly between Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall, displaying a calmness that hasn’t always been evident before.
The 28-year-old will be out of contract in the summer. On current form, he thoroughly deserves a new deal and Steve Cooper has a big decision to make.
Figueiredo nearly left the club in January. Vitoria did off him the chance to return to his homeland but a deal fell through when the paperwork wasn’t completed in time.
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That looks like a stroke of luck from Forest’s point of view, with the player now in the form of his life, showcasing his classy approach to defending that served him well when he first arrived at the club.
Figueiredo was tremendous against Birmingham. Who Scored shows that he completed three tackles and made six clearances.
He also dominated in the air, winning six headers and not letting Scott Hogan have a sniff of the ball, particularly in the first half.
Forest must offer Figueiredo fresh terms
The Reds will have plenty of voids to fill in the summer. Joe Worrall could earn a move to the Premier League and naturally, a replacement will be sought.
Jonathan Panzo and Loic Mbe Soh are younger options waiting in the wings but Figueiredo’s experience could prove a useful addition.
The Portuguese player clearly takes a lot of pride in his profession and he wears the badge with a great deal of pride.
Figueiredo has taken his Forest chance with aplomb and he thoroughly deserves a new deal at the City Ground.