Having been thrown into the spotlight with a Premier League debut against Manchester United during the previous campaign, tenacious defensive-midfielder Nico did not feature as regularly as he had expected for the first-team last campaign.
The 2011/12 season was certainly a memorable one for the Hale End product, who also featured in the Carling Cup and FA Cup, but last season he was restricted to a solitary Capital One Cup outing against Coventry City.
He featured prominently for the U21s and in the NextGen Series, however, captaining the side in the latter competition, and scoring a dramatic goal to see off Inter Milan in the Last 16. Also capable of playing at right-back, although used less frequently in that position last term, Nico was also a mainstay for the U21s, making 18 appearances at second-string level.
A good passer of the ball who is adept at breaking up play, Nico was part of the side that won the Premier Academy League in 2010 and experienced a short loan spell at Notts County two years later which was curtailed by injury. He has been capped by England up to U19 level and is entering the final season of his current contract at the club.