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Alex Neil expecting Ivo Pinto to make an impact at Norwich

Published 08/01/2016

Full-back Ivo Pinto has signed for Norwich from Dinamo Zagreb
Full-back Ivo Pinto has signed for Norwich from Dinamo Zagreb

Norwich manager Alex Neil expects new signing Ivo Pinto to have a "real impact" at Carrow Road following his arrival from Dinamo Zagreb.

Pinto, who turned 26 this week, has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Barclays Premier League club and was unveiled at their training base on Friday.

The defender, capped by Portugal at Under-21 level, brings with him experience of Champions League football this season, having played for Dinamo against Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

And while Norwich's FA Cup third-round clash against Manchester City on Saturday will come too soon for Pinto, Neil expects the defender, who won the Croatian league title in 2014 and 2015, to be a key acquisition in his club's pursuit of Premier League survival.

"One of the things which helped us sign him is that he was involved in the Champions League," said Neil.

"We watched him in the flesh at Arsenal when he played against the likes of Alexis Sanchez and we watched him against Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich so we have seen him against a high calibre of opposition.

"We know his history and he was quoted as the best right back in the Croatian league last season. So, we have done our homework on him, we have covered all the bases and we are hoping he is going to come in and have a real impact.

"He is the perfect age and he has still got his best years ahead of him so he ticks all the boxes."

Pinto came through the Porto youth system, before having spells at Rio Ave and Romanian club CFR Cluj ahead of his move to Zagreb in July 2013.

Pinto, who trained with his new Norwich team-mates on Friday, added: "My father said to me 'you won't play in the Champions League', but I said 'no father you are wrong, I will play in the Champions League every week'. The best teams in the world are here and every week they have big games.

"All the teams have a lot of quality, a lot of fast play and this is a fantastic move for me. As a player I will grow up a lot and as a person also.

"I am very aggressive, a very fast player and the fans can expect that I will give all I have in every minute and I will not disappoint."

Meanwhile, Kyle Lafferty will be in the Norwich squad for the visit of City despite reported interest from Leeds. Boss Neil added: "We are not looking to loan Kyle out. If someone wants to get him they can come and buy him."

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