1.10 Nanu

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas dipped its toe into the transfer market for the first time in 2022 with the signing of veteran defender Nanu from FC Porto.

The 27-year-old joins Dallas on loan for the 2022 season but the club has an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the year.

Naturally a right back, Nanu brings international and Champions League experience to Dallas. He spent three seasons with Portuguese topflight club Marítimo before transferring to FC Porto in 2020. In all, Nanu featured 21 times for Porto including four Champions League appearances against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.

“Nanu is a player I’ve known for a while. He was playing in Marítimo and had very good seasons with them,” said FC Dallas Technical Director André Zanotta. “He got an important move to Porto for a good amount of money. He’ll add competition to our backline. He has good experience in Europe and the Portuguese league.”

Although born in Portugal, Nanu has played internationally for Guinea-Bissau since 2019 and earned 18 caps. Both Nanu and Guinea-Bissau are currently competing in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. They’ll face Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan over the next week.

Nanu will likely compete with Ema Twumasi and Justin Che for Dallas’ first-choice right back spot. Twumasi enjoyed a breakout 2021 season after converting to the position and earned himself a new 3-year contract this offseason. Even if Nanu is solidifies himself as the starter, Twumasi’s versatility should see him earn plenty of minutes in 2022. Regardless, Nanu’s pedigree and experience should help stabilize Dallas’ backline heading into the new year.

“The information we have is that he’s a great teammate, a great professional,” Zanotta added. “He’ll bring some good experience to our team and to our defense. So, we’re very excited to have him.”