The transfer window may be closing on Tuesday night but Norwich look to have all their dealings signed, sealed and delivered well before the deadline in what has been a busy summer for the Canaries.
In the past week alone England Under-21 international full-back Brandon Williams completed a season-long loan from Manchester United while Ozan Kabak and Mathias Normann joined on initial long loan deals, with the option to buy.
Williams has seen his game-time at Old Trafford restricted by the form of Luke Shaw at left-back and will now battle-it-out with starting full-backs Dimitris Giannoulis and Max Aarons for a place in the side.
Ozan Kabak, 21, emerged from the academy of Galatasaray and joined Bundesliga side Stuttgart in January 2019 after making 17 senior appearances as a teenager, reportedly in a deal worth close to £10 million.
The centre-back joined Liverpool on loan in February and played 13 times for the Reds, but they opted against making his move permanent.
Meanwhile, Norwegian midfielder Mathias Normann arrives from Rostov having spent the past three seasons in Russia and boasts Europa League experience as well as seven international caps.
Bringing in a defensive midfielder has been a prime target for Norwich boss Daniel Farke, with the club seeking a replacement for Oliver Skipp, who returned to Tottenham at the end of his loan move in the summer.
That took the number of new arrivals to 11, including the permanent deals for Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis, allied to the 16 departures; headlined, of course, by Emi Buendia’s club record sale to Aston Villa.
Earlier this summer, City signed Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour on a season-long loan having helped Chelsea to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and their second Champions League title.
Also coming in is winger Christos Tzolis from Greek club PAOK for a fee of around £10m.
The 19-year old excelled last season, registering 16 goals and 10 assists across 46 appearances in all competitions, as PAOK finished as runners-up in the Greek Super League.
He joins Angus Gunn (Southampton), Ben Gibson (Burnley), Josh Sargent, and Milot Rashica (both Werder Bremen) among those who have joined the club with the Carrow Road faithful seemingly impressed by the work carried out by the club’s Sporting Director Stuart Webber.
“With the budget he’s been given, I don’t think you can ask much more,” says Jacob from Canary Cast.
“Eleven signings plus a couple of youth team players as well, including Liam Gibbs from Ipswich and a few others who look exciting.
“In terms of the players that have arrived, the club could not do anymore.”
The new additions will be welcome news to City fans who are still reeling at the loss of Emi Buendia, who completed a permanent transfer to fellow Premier League side Aston Villa earlier this year in a move that could cost in the region £38 million.
Buendia was named Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season after he played a key role in getting the Canaries straight back into the Premier League after they were relegated in 2019/20.
He scored 15 goals and registered 16 assists, creating more chances than any other player in the division.
His stats in the Premier League were equally impressive and despite the Canaries being relegated in 2019/20 Buendia was fourth for chances created (83), behind Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“Losing Emi is not ideal. If we’d lost Aarons or Cantwell and kept Emi, that’s still a team,” said Jacob in the latest Canary Cast podcast.
“Whilst we’re very excited about the new signings, in terms of scoring, the only problem I have is how are we going to get goals?
“We’re not a threat from set-pieces, we don’t counter very well and at the moment we’re not holding the ball very well. That’s where Farke needs to adapt, you can see he really doesn’t like counter-attacking.
“When he came to Norwich he said, ‘if I could have 100 percent of the ball I would,’ so that idea has to change.
“It might take a couple of years like Watford have done, at the minute it almost as to be a bit scrappy in order to stay up, you have to be able to earn those points rather than play around everything.
“As soon as you get caught out in this league, bang it’s a goal.”
Norwich suffered their third successive defeat last weekend as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Leicester City and are only second-bottom of the Premier League table courtesy of Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday lunctime and Teemu Pukki’s goal against the Foxes.
The Canaries are battling to avoid the drop immediately after gaining promotion for the third time in eight seasons after Daniel Farke’s side gained promotion with 97 points last season, finishing six points clear of runners-up Watford.
Having gained promotion to the top-flight in 2015, they immediately returned to the Championship as only nine victories all season saw them finish second-bottom in the Premier League table.
But City returned once more in 2019, winning the Championship with an impressive 94 points under their German coach, only to finish rock bottom the following season with just five wins and 21 points.
And next up it’s fellow strugglers Arsenal who are also looking for their first points of the campaign after a miserable start under Mikel Arteta which has seen them lose to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City.
“I think for me this is the best transfer window we could have had and maybe the best the club has ever had,” reveals Jacob.
“You look at Kabak, he is special, he could go on and be a 40, 50, 60 million pound player. Seeing him in the Champions League, he didn’t look out of place.
“In terms of what we’ve brought in, you couldn’t ask for anything else.
“We’ve got to be looking at finishing around 16th or 17th this season, that’s the expectation now; Brentford, we should finish above them, Watford, we should finish above them.
“There are teams around us that we should be able to scrap against this year, we didn’t beat anyone in and around us last time and we have to do at this level.
“It’s not these three games that decide it, it’s when we play teams like Watford at home, we have to win.”
Leave a comment
Follow Matthewjcrist on Twitter