Fantasy Premier League Scouting Report: Norwich City defender Ivo Pinto

Pinto has already had experience playing against Premier League players. Will he adapt well? - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Let's take a detailed look at another January transfer in the Premier League, as right back Ivo Pinto moves from Dinamo Zagreb in Prva HNL to Norwich City. I'll discuss who he is, how he will fit in at his new club, and what his addition means for Premier League fantasy owners.

As the always exciting transfer season continues; in comes Ivo Pinto who, despite a lack the big name notoriety, does not lack in potential importance to the relegation fight of Norwich City.

Where’d Ivo Pinto come from?

Despite lack of name recognition, those of you who remember Arsenal’s upset loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League have already seen Ivo Pinto. A reported £2.2 million fee brought the twenty-six-year-old Pinto to Norwich City after three years in Zagreb, Croatia. The Portuguese fullback came through the FC Porto youth system during which he saw himself go out on several loan spells followed by a short lived transfer with CFR Cluj in Romania before finally arriving at Dinamo Zagreb prior to the 2013-14 season where he achieved consecutive Prva HNL league titles and a Croatian Cup.

More recognizable than his domestic achievements may be his appearances on the international stage in both the Champions and Europa Leagues. This brings us back to this past September, where Pinto manned the right side tasked with containing Alexis Sanchez. Most will simply chalk Dinamo Zagreb’s surprise victory to an Olivier Giroud second yellow card in the 39th minute, but it must be noted that Zagreb had already taken a 1-0 lead at this juncture on their way to a 2-1 win. In the highlight video below you will see two key tackles by Pinto, one on Alexis himself, the other stopping a key fast break lead by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Now that he’s at Norwich, what can we expect?

In seven years as a professional footballer, Pinto has never scored a goal. That’s 217 appearances without a goal. It’s safe to assume you should not suddenly expect him to begin to produce in this category, despite current Norwich right back Russell Martin’s three goals on the season. This also leads to us addressing what role Pinto will have at Norwich.

First and foremost, Pinto adds much needed depth at the right back position that currently hosts an out of position Russell Martin who has displayed his greatest success while playing a more central defense role. Whether this means an immediate move of the thirty-year-old Martin back to a centerback role (likely at the dispense of Ryan Bennett), a pure swap of Pinto for Martin, or some combination of the two is yet to be seen. What is clear however is that after a 3-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Bournemouth, Norwich needs to sew up that back line quickly if they hope to keep treading water above the relegation line.

Should I add Pinto to my fantasy squad?

From a fantasy perspective, at first glance Pinto doesn’t bring a lot to the table. He has literally never scored a goal (though he has contributed a handful of assists – including two in the Europa League), and finds himself on a defensive line that has allowed the third most goals in the Premier League. Pinto’s role, regardless of how large, will be primarily defensive. The right wing is home to two of Norwich’s most important offensive threats in Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and Nathan Redmond while the left fullback position is often manned by the attack-minded Robbie Brady; this will leave Pinto in a role to hold down the right side defensively while also being the main preventer of fast breaks. It is plausible in the right matchup that Pinto could be a viable option in formats that reward crosses, but his crossing numbers are not expected to be to the equivalent to the likes of Robbie Brady.

There’s nothing sexy about the fantasy prospects of Ivo Pinto unfortunately, but that’s not to say he can’t have an important role in wrangling in Norwich’s defense in hopes of keeping them in the Premier League for another season. He's certainly one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks as he adjusts to English football.

What do you think of the newest addition to the Premier League? Is he someone that you are looking forward to watching play? Will you be looking to make him part of your Fantasy Premier League rosters? Join the discussion below and share your thoughts!