Ivo Pinto reveals his delight after sealing dream move to Norwich City
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2016
Norwich City’s new signing Ivo Pinto revealed he had his heart set on joining the Canaries after rejecting other offers to fulfil his Premier League dream.
The 26-year-old full-back was officially unveiled at Colney on Friday afternoon after completing his move for an undisclosed fee.
Pinto is eligible to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester City but Alex Neil confirmed the former Dinamo Zagreb defender will not be considered after only one training session with his new team mates.
The ex-Portuguese Under-21 international brings Champions League experience after playing against the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Manchester United in recent seasons, but the English top flight was his big ambition.
“I am not saying this because I am here now. But, for me, it was my dream to play in the Premier League,” he said. “It is the best league in the world. Norwich have given me this chance to play here and I am very happy to come here. From the first contact I had with them, the will to have me here was very big and for me to have that opportunity to help the club achieve their goals was very important. From the first contact, I was thinking only about Norwich until everything was done. In this country I didn’t have any other official options, from other countries, yes, but since I heard about Norwich I just think about coming here.
“What can the fans expect? I am a very aggressive, fast player. They can expect from me that I will give all I have in every minute of a game and I will not disappoint them. The Champions League is the best competition in the world. I have some experience of that and at the age of 26 I have played against some of the best teams in the world and it has given me more confidence and that can help me and the team.”
Neil believes Pinto’s Champions League pedigree will help him settle in quickly.
“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.”
Neil has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup visit, but he is adopting a no risk strategy with Matt Jarvis who is only back in training after a knee lay-off.
“No, everybody will be fit. Matt Jarvis is probably not quite ready,” said Neil. “It is more the fact we are not taking a risk with him. He has trained this week but we have waited nine or ten weeks to get him fit so we don’t want him to breakdown at the final hurdle. It is more precautionary with two Premier League games coming up next week.”