Tobias Figueiredo will, like fellow Portuguese Joao Carvalho, be hoping to play more of a prominent role for Nottingham Forest next season.

And he should be given the chance to earn such a standing.

He has shown enough promise to most definitely be one for the future.

Even when taking into account the fierce competition for places he faces.

Forest are as well-stocked at centre-half as they are in any area of the field.

If anything, they have too many options.

With the end of Molla Wague’s loan set to be countered by the return of Joe Worrall from Rangers.

The vast experience of Michael Dawson must also be added to the mix, while Michael Hefele will step off the treatment table at some stage.

Figueiredo has already made that move, but a little too late for 2018-19.

The campaign just gone was a frustrating one for the 25-year-old defender.

It promised much, but delivered little.

Much like the Reds as a collective!

Serious

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

Aitor Karanka was clearly a fan of Figueiredo, having turned an initial loan move into a permanent transfer.

He went on to take in 14 appearances before Christmas.

Unfortunately, he has barely been since December 22.

Having been forced off during a meeting with QPR, the hope was that a spell on the sidelines would be relatively brief.

It wasn’t.

A dead leg turned into something much more serious.

Figueiredo suffered a blood clot and only came back into contention on the final day of the season.

With Karanka having long departed and Martin O’Neill filling the Spaniard’s shoes.

“We got him on to the bench, yes. If we had got another goal in the game, I would have liked to have got him on the pitch, just to get a feel of things again,” O’Neill said in the Nottingham Post.

“He has not played that much since his injury, beyond an under-23 game.

“He has trained with us, but I would have been concerned about putting him on for more than a half.”

Enforced

 

Having missed out on minutes against Bolton, Figueiredo is now facing up to another enforced break.

This one, though, will at least allow him to work on his sharpness.

A positive summer and pre-season should have him raring to go heading into the 2019-20 campaign.

And it is easy to argue that he should be a favoured option.

Whether O’Neill goes with a three or a four at the back, Figueiredo brings something different to the party.

Alexander Milosevic and Yohan Benalouane bring brute force, Dawson ball-playing ability and Worrall boundless enthusiasm, while a Portuguese colleague offers a bit of everything.

There is still plenty of potential to be unlocked as well after just 18 months in England.

O’Neill should be making finding the key a priority.

Countryman Carvalho may continue to dominate the headlines, but Figueiredo could be another Portuguese man o’ war for Forest.