In the summer of 2017, Nottingham Forest swooped to complete the season-long loan signing of Benfica’s Hildeberto Pereira, as Philippe Montanier looked to place his feet properly under the table at the City Ground.
Pereira had been fighting it out for a place in Benfica’s first-team, with a loan move to the City Ground bound to help him in his quest of becoming a regular for the Portuguese side’s first-team.
Forest were hoping for big things under Montanier, but their season completely crashed and burned and the Frenchman was relieved of his duties in January after a poor set of results.
Now plying his trade for Vitoria Setubal in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Pereira was a key player for the Reds and Montanier during his spell on Trentside.
The rampaging full-back is still a popular figure when spoken about on the banks of the Trent, and emerged as a real fans’ favourite whenever he pulled on a Garibaldi shirt.
Here, we reflect on Pereira’s time at Forest in today’s FLW Flashback Spotlight…
Pereira made a total of 25 appearances in all competitions for Forest, playing a total of 1,700 minutes of football in the 2016/17 season.
The Portuguese defender was deployed as a right-back during the entirety of his stay at the City Ground, and his athleticism and strength made him a real asset going forward.
Pereira’s first goal for Forest, which came in a 3-1 win over Birmingham City, was arguably one of their goals of the season.
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He won possession near the corner flag before driving forward 60 yards, playing the ball out wide to Ben Osborn who put the ball back into the box, and there was Pereira to slam home in front of the Trent End.
His second goal came around when he played slightly further up-field, latching onto a through ball and chipping the goalkeeper in a defeat to Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Pereira was a real liability at times, though, and the main statistic that isn’t displayed on our graphics is the red card count – he picked up three of them during his time at the City Ground.
A slide tackle success rate of 36.4% suggests that he wasn’t really the cleverest when it came to challenges, with the defender only winning 53.5% of his duels in the 16/17 campaign.
Going forward, Pereira’s speed and strength made him a frightening threat for the opposition, but in the final third, his end product was lacking.
He accrued a total pass success rate of 75.1% and registered two assists, however could only manage to accrue a cross success percentage of 16.7%.
This is bitterly disappointing and somewhat underwhelming, given that Forest had plenty of dangerous target men in their ranks that year, in the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Apostolos Vellios.
Spells with Northampton Town and Legia Warsaw shortly followed after his City Ground spell, but the main thing is that he is now settled back in his home country and playing regularly.