Why Nottingham Forest should stay away from Nuno da Costa
The 28-year-old was linked with a move to the City Ground last week and while an injury seemed to have scuppered hopes of a switch elsewhere before the January deadline, Forest continue to hold a genuine interest in the striker. (h/t Nottinghamshire Live)
Da Costa, who is rated at around €2.5million, recorded 8 goals and 5 assists in 34 appearances in the Ligue 1 last season to help Strasbourg progress to the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League, although the French outfit eventually failed to get beyond the group stages.
The Cape Verdean hitman hasn’t been able to replicate his heroics from the previous campaign this term, having found the net only twice in 20 appearances for Strasbourg so far across all competitions.
In fact, da Costa has suffered a significant fall from grace at his current club this season, having started only 4 times in the Ligue 1.
Born in Portugal, da Costa started his professional career with Aubagne in the lower echelons of French football before earning a move to Valenciennes in the Ligue 2 back in the summer of 2015. The 28-year-old scored 19 times in 45 appearances in the French second-tier, which was enough to warrant a move to the top-flight with Strasbourg in 2017.
The Cape Verdean has since established himself as a force to reckon with at the highest level in France and has racked up a tally of 17 goals and 9 assists in 87 appearances for Strasbourg in all competitions so far.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest stayed 4th in the Championship standings after a 1-1 draw against Reading on Wednesday night. Lewis Grabban put them ahead in the 80th-minute but an equalizer from Sam Baldock after just three minutes ensured that both teams shared the spoils.
Forest have already completed their first piece of business in the winter market with a loan deal for French winger Adama Diakhaby from Huddersfield Town. However, a reliable back-up for top-scorer Grabban should be a priority.
Indeed, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the coming months, the Reds need to bring in a new striker to reduce the goalscoring burden on Grabban, who continues to the club’s only senior striker following the departure of Wolves loanee Rafa Mir earlier in the month.
Nuno da Costa, who doesn’t have any previous experience of playing in the English second-tier, would be a huge gamble for the Reds. At such a crucial point in the campaign, a relatively unknown hitman like Da Costa represents a major risk.
Moreover, his career tally of 37 goals in 135 appearances makes for some modest reading on paper. Nuno da Costa is a gamble that Nottingham Forest simply cannot afford if they are serious about their promotion surge in the coming months.