With Norwich’s new signing Ivo Pinto having joined from the Croatian league; not many fans will know much about him. This is why I have spoken to Croatian journalist Aleksandar Holiga (published in the Guardian and FourFourTwo) about Ivo Pinto so us Norwich fans could learn a little bit more about or new defender.
First of all, with Pinto joining Norwich, are the Dinamo fans unhappy with the transfer?
It seems like an easy question, but it really isn’t. Many people (in fact, a vast majority) are boycotting Dinamo because of the way it’s being run, while still considering themselves supporters; those have bigger issues in mind and don’t care too much about Pinto – but that’s a whole different story which probably won’t interest you at this point.
I’d say the fans have no reason to be unhappy about it – Pinto was never much of a crowd favourite, had been unhappy at the club for some time and he had many ups and downs. Not many people would be sorry to see him go, especially because Dinamo have already signed a replacement – Petar Stojanovic from Maribor. I’d say he’s roughly on the same level (and similar in style of play), but 6 years younger.
What’s can Norwich fans expect from Pinto?
Don’t really know the quality of their other options at RB position, but I don’t think Pinto can be a massive upgrade for Norwich. I’m sure he’ll be more motivated to play in the Prem, but also his weaknesses are bound to show more on that level.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
He’s fast, has good stamina and looks quite dangerous storming down the right flank, although he never scored for Dinamo and his crosses were not very precise. His defensive play leaves a lot to be desired: I’d say his spatial intelligence and positional sense are rather poor. At Dinamo, he would often push forward too much, failing to return to close down the opposition players on the counter; they conceded far too many goals through his side. However, there were some occasions, particularly this season, when he adapted a more conservative role and did better defensively at the expense of his attacking contribution.
Is he good enough to play for the Portugal senior team?
I wouldn’t really know if he’s good enough to play for Portugal. He has been on the verge of breaking into the team for some time. I’m sure that will largely depend on how he does in England – and the possibility of making the Portugal squad for the Euros was definitely one of his main motives to leave for England and play on a much higher level regularly.
Do you think he will suit the Premier League?
I don’t expect him to have any problems adapting to the physical side of the game in England – he’s the type of player who could do well there. However, he will need to be much more tactically sound and responsible at Norwich – especially because his acceleration and pace won’t make that much difference as they did with Dinamo.
I would like to thank Aleksandar for taking the time to speak to me and hopefully you have all learned a lot more about our new signing, Ivo Pinto!