Nottingham Forest defender Giulian Biancone is expected to play a squad role rather than be a starter this season, according to journalist Sarah Clapson.
The Lowdown: Biancone one of many signings
The Reds are just over a week away from marking their return to the Premier League, with Steve Cooper’s side making the trip to Newcastle United on August 6.
It has been an excellent summer for Forest in the transfer window, with a whole host of new names coming in, one of which was young defender Biancone.
The Latest: Squad role predicted
Speaking in a Q&A for The Nottingham Post, Clapson claimed that Biancone would not be considered a better right-back option than Neco Williams, with a squad role looking likely:
“Think he’s looked better when he’s played at right wing-back. Thought he’d done well there in the previous friendlies. When he first signed, we were told it was with a view to him being more as a centre-back, but one who could also play wing-back. He’s played more of the latter since signing, but Cooper did say that was mainly through circumstance.
“Don’t think he’s going to get in ahead of Neco Williams. But still looks a decent addition to me, even if he didn’t show it on Tuesday night. Useful to have players who can play in a few different positions. Trying to form any kind of judgement is tough in pre-season, though.”
The Verdict: Still young and maturing
While Biancone’s hefty transfer fee means he should be expected to perform from the off, he is going to be a raw player finding his feet in a new country, and in arguably the world’s toughest league.
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Miracles shouldn’t be expected from him straight away and it is likely that he is used sporadically to begin with, proving to be a good squad player who gets minutes in domestic cup games.
Over time, however, the hope is that Biancone becomes a formidable defender who is deployed mostly as a right-sided centre-back, making the £9million eventually look like a bargain.
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