From Portsmouth bit-part player to French title winner ready to face PSG, Monaco and Marseille - Danish defender's remarkable 12 months
The central defender endured an underwhelming season-long loan at Fratton Park for the 2020-21 campaign.
The Dane made just 12 league starts as he failed to establish himself under firstly Kenny Jackett and then Danny Cowley.
Now, 12 months later, he is a Ligue 2 title winner with Toulouse, ensuring their presence in France’s top flight next season.
It has been an eye-catching turnaround for Nicolaisen, who totalled 27 appearances and one goal during his time with Pompey.
Upon returning to parent club Midtjylland following a campaign which saw the Blues miss out on the play-offs, he was sold to Toulouse in August 2021, signing a four-year deal.
Despite missing the start of the Ligue 2 season, Nicolaisen soon installed himself as a regular in their side.
He featured 32 times, netting four goals and claiming two assists, as Toulouse claimed the title with one match to spare, finishing ahead of Ajaccio and Auxerre.
The 25-year-old played as the left-sided centre-half in a back four for Philippe Montanier’s all-conquering team, who finished four points clear at the summit.
They now return to Ligue 1 after two years away, catapulting Nicolaisen into fixtures against the giants of French football such as PSG and a star-studded cast containing Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Before the Dane’s arrival, they missed out on promotion in 2020-21 following defeat to Nantes in the play-offs.
However, this season they stormed to the title, fired by 19 goals from Rhys Healey, the former Cardiff and MK Dons striker in his second season at the club.
During Nicolaisen’s time at Fratton Park, he was often overlooked for a central-defensive spot, with Sean Raggett and Jack Whatmough preferred.
James Bolton also stood in on occasions, while Paul Downing was chosen ahead of the Midtjylland loanee for the final two matches of the campaign.
His sole Pompey goal arrived against King’s Lynn in a 6-1 FA Cup second round success in November 2020.
He placed a total of 53 football-related bets between November 7 to November 12, 2020, although none involved Pompey games.
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