Despite the transfer window slamming shut at 11pm on Tuesday evening, Nottingham Forest are still active in the transfer market as attentions turn to any potential free agents.
It may have come slightly unexpectedly to Reds supporters, but Chris Hughton has already delved into that market today with the signing of Rodrigo Ely.
That will not be a name familiar to many English football fans, so let’s take a look and see who Ely is.
Ely is coming in to bolster Hughton’s options at centre-back, with Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna by no means being a definite starting pair together after the club’s poor start to the campaign.
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The 27-year-old came through the academy of Brazilian giants Gremio before being snapped up as a teenager by AC Milan, however he never made a Serie A appearance for the club in his first stint.
Loan spells to Reggina and Varese in Italy happened before a permanent switch to Avellino occurred, but one year later Milan decided to bring Ely back to the San Siro after he impressed for his new side – he was technically a free transfer but other costs to the deal made him an €8 million defender.
Ely played just four times for Milan in less than two years before heading for Spanish side Alaves – initially on loan before making that permanent in the summer of 2017.
His career at Alaves has been stop-start because of injuries – he suffered bad knee injuries in the 2018-19 season and more recently during the 2020-21 campaign, playing just 13 times in La Liga during those specific periods.
Ely did play 56 league games though in the two other seasons where he managed to stay relatively injury-free, so there will be hope that Forest will see the best of the Brazilian who should be reaching his peak years now.