Daniel Pinillos joins Nottingham Forest after showing plenty of promise in La Liga

La Liga correspondent Heath Chesters takes a look at why signing the young Spaniard, formerly of Cordoba, could prove a smart signing by Nottingham Forest.

Following a trial period at the club, Nottingham Forest officially announced the signing of Daniel Pinillos on Thursday, with the Spanish left-back clearly having done enough to impress manager Dougie Freedman.

The 22-year-old is still a player who has many improvements to make to his overall game, but providing he can adapt well to the English game, he's certainly a full-back with plenty of potential.

Although he was released by Cordoba following their relegation, that had little to do with his performances for the team, and more to do with their need to reshuffle finances. An inevitable fact of life, when a team drops a division and needs to adapt their budget accordingly.

During the 2014-15 campaign in La Liga, whilst opportunities were limited for Pinillos, when he stepped up from the Cordoba 'B' team to the first-team squad, he performed well amidst strong competition at left-back.

Indeed, only the arrival of Brazilian 29-year-old Edimar from Chievo during the January 2015 transfer window, denied Pinillos from enjoying more opportunities during the second half of the season.

Interestingly though, the main rival for Pinillos at left-back before Cordoba signed Edimar, was 28-year-old Jose Angel Crespo, who recently signed for Aston Villa in the Premier League.

When it comes to performance, according to data from whoscored.com, whilst Crespo scored an average rating of 6.78 from nine starting appearances, by comparison, Pinillos scored an average rating of 6.82 from eight starting appearances at left-back.

Considering that Aston Villa have shelled out around £500,000 to sign Crespo, per the Guardian, grabbing Pinillos on a free transfer looks a very wise piece of business by Nottingham Forest. The fact is, this could prove to be an excellent move.

Very effective in the air for a full-back, the biggest strength of Pinillos is his reading of the game and his marking. Although the English game is arguably more physical than in Spain, he certainly isn't afraid of getting stuck into challenges, successfully winning the ball more often than not.

The only real negative for Pinillos has been his disciplinary record. In a total of 12 appearances for Cordoba last season, he collected five yellow cards. In what proved to be his final match for the blanquiverdes against Real Sociedad in March, he was also red-carded for verbal abuse towards a linesman.

However, it should be pointed out in that particular game, referee Velasco Carballo issued three Cordoba players their marching orders, all defenders, leaving the Andaluz side to finish the game with just eight men. Nonetheless, harsh though the card might have seemed, Pinillos was still issued with a four-match suspension.

Pinillos is by no means a dirty player though. Enthusiasm and determination to win the ball, is perhaps the best way to describe his challenging. It is also fair to say his approach will likely see him receive fewer bookings in England, than he would in Spain, where referees tend to be less tolerant of strong challenges.

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