Nottingham Forest’s European Cup winning hero Colin Barrett believes that Joao Carvalho should be a more frequent inclusion in Martin O’Neill’s team.

Barrett played for the Reds in the 1970s and is now a regular attendee at the City Ground. He was in the stands on Monday to watch Carvalho torment Middlesbrough into submission during a 3-0 victory.

The 22-year-old signed for Forest during the summer for £13.2 million from Benfica and was a regular in the team for Aitor Karanka during the first half of the season. Since O’Neill’s arrival, he has been used sparingly, starting just twice.

 

The club’s record signing took his chance of a rare start with absolute aplomb on Monday and it was a selection that delighted Barrett.

He told Seat Pitch: “Carvalho has his moments where he is lost in some games but fundamentally it’s about what he can do with the ball.

“He is the one player who can create something every time he’s in possession. In that sense he’s unique. Forest don’t have a player that is constantly as probing and creative like Joao is.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

“He is, however, a luxury player. Martin (O’Neill) has to decide whether he wants 11 lads who are workers and will run through a brick wall for him, or 10 of those lads and then someone like Joao who can create something out of nothing. For me, personally, he simply has to be playing for Nottingham Forest.

Carvalho has four goals and seven assists from his maiden campaign on Trentside. Monday highlighted his quality and supporters will hope he keeps his place in the team for the last two games.