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Nottingham Forest’s decision not to pursue permanent Hildeberto Pereira deal vindicated

Championship

Nottingham Forest’s decision not to pursue permanent Hildeberto Pereira deal vindicated

The former Nottingham Forest loanee has struggled to succeed with Northampton Town.

Last season Nottingham Forest made plenty of interesting signings, especially on loan and free transfers as they remained under a transfer embargo for much of the campaign.

One player they brought in was Benfica full-back Hildeberto Pereira on loan. The exciting and swashbuckling option was certainly an interesting figure at the City Ground.

First of all, he was exceptionally talented. Pereira was a bustling figure. Strong and fast with an excellent dribbling ability, he had some excellent moments in a Forest shirt.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Hildeberto Pereira of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion at City Ground on August 6, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

But despite his talent, Forest fans will remember the young Portuguese star for one aspect of his game, his innate ability to get sent off.

He amazed Forest fans when he inspired a comeback v Aston Villa, before seeing red for jumping into the crowd to celebrate whilst already on a booking. That was his first red card for the club, but not the last. He was sent off twice more – against Blackburn and QPR – before being reprimanded by the Championship side.

By the end of the season, Pereira was not in contention. The manager who had originally played him, Philippe Montanier, was gone and in his place was Mark Warburton. He did not use the Portugal talent nearly as regular and sent him back to his homeland before the crunch final game of last season.

Forest therefore did not pursue his permanent signature which, despite his discipline issues, disappointed some fans at the City Ground who had fallen in love with the talent.

Judging by the events of the past week, Forest made the right call

Pereira did exit Benfica in the summer. The 22-year-old signed a four-year deal at Polish giants Legia Warsaw. However, after struggling to settle in the Polish capital, he headed back to England in January, joining Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Northampton Town.

This was his chance to prove himself in English football, his overall dream. It has not worked out.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 20: Hildeberto Pereira of Northampton Town in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Shrewsbury Town at Sixfields on March 20, 2018 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

This week he was sent back to Legia, with the Cobblers in the League One relegation zone. Hasselbaink is gone and the Portuguese has now returned to Poland.

He made minimal impact at Sixfields, starting just four games and, you guessed it, picking up one red card.

Nottingham Forest will no doubt take his troubles in the tier below as confirmation that they made the right call not pursuing his permanent acquisition.

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Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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