Norwich City; Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
Written by Callum Butcher.
Norwich city, relegated once again from the premiership. The inevitable happened and after being promoted only 12 months ago, Norwich sink back down to the second tier.
Norwich fans, against their wishes, find themselves in a routine relegation and promotion merry go round. This time around it’s been a hard pill to swallow for city’s most loyal fans, towards the end of last season the Norwich loyal protested against the clubs owners and policies. This has been followed with concrete interest of investment. Milwaukee brewers owner Mark Attanasio is looking to acquire stakes within the club. There’s been proof that the owners of Norwich city’s refusal to take money and leave has been, a stable and sensible decision all round but after the recent escalator being taken between the championship and premiership and fans expressing their negative feelings, Delia & Michael could, this time around acquire more investment and even give up their majority stakes.
What does the club need to do to firstly, gain promotion from one of the hardest leagues in the world, and secondly maintain themselves in the premier league?
The Canaries have remarkably always bounced back with passion and fight after being relegated and they’ll need to do this again. They’ve always found the togetherness and financial stability to keep their assets once being relegated. The club inserts relegation clauses into players salaries that gives the club the power to hang onto them. After being relegated last time around, Emiliano Buendia & Todd Cantwell expressed their intent to leave the club after their positive campaigns in the premier league, Norwich stood firm in refusing to let them leave, giving the canaries the best chance of bouncing back.
This time around, after relegation, is it in Norwich City’s best interest to keep hold of their most valuable players? Who are these players?
It’s hard to pick out any top performers from the previous season, even though some talent was shown at times, no player really stood out in a disappointing campaign, which saw Norwich loose 26 games and only scoring 23 goals. Milot Rashica, Teemu Pukki & Max Aaron’s are considered to be the most valuable players to the canaries.
Milot Rashica, has expressed his willingness to stay and battle in the championship for Norwich, he had some promising performances but no stats to back these up, nevertheless he could be a very important player for Norwich in the championship.
Teemu Pukki, at the age of 32, will be looking to stay at Norwich, he’s a prolific goal scorer in the championship and will be city’s main striker.
Max Aarons, the young pacey right back has arguably been the canaries most consistent player over the past four seasons, with a transfer value of around 20 million euros, it could be time for Aaron’s to spread his wings at an established premier league outfit. Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester United are all said to be interested, he is the most likely player to leave. If Aarons leaves, he will most likely be replaced by Bali Mumba, Max’s role is tailor made for young Mumba, who was loaned out to Peterborough to gain experience.
So yes and no, Norwich will look to keep hold of some of their most valuable players whereas players in positions where we already have a strong back up, will have an exit door.
Taking a step back and looking at city’s squad, it’s looks a very powerful one for the championship, do Norwich need a complete overhaul? No, the midfield needs rebuilding after regular players such as Normann, Gilmour & Rupp will all be departing the club, but apart from that Norwich do look favourites to bounce back straight away. Talking about the midfield, it was the main problem for city’s poor campaign, often leaving the defence more than exposed, most of the canaries regular starters had little or no experience in the premier league including Pierre Lees-Melou, Mathias Normann and Billy Gilmour.
In the 2020/21 championship season Norwich had one of the strongest midfields in the league, Oliver Skipp was the main man. Norwich lost him at the end of the season as he departed to his parent club spurs, Norwich tried replacing him with Billy Gilmour but this turned out to be a bad recruit for a club battling relegation. When your best player departs in such an important role it’s a hard task to find a player that hits the ground running.
The Canaries will need to find more stability in their midfield, players that will stay at the club for more than one season, Norwich will learn from the Oliver Skipp situation and bring players in on a permanent deal, rumours are circulating to who they can bring in. Conor Hourihane & Joe Rothwell have been mentioned and these two players would give Norwich the stability they are looking for, not only for the championship but also the premier league. However, there has been confirmation of the loan signing of Isaac Hayden, who Dean Smith has managed to bring in to bring stability to the defensive midfield role. The Centre Spot understands that the obligation to buy if all performance criteria requirements are met stands at £3.8M
There’s no doubt about it, if Norwich gain promotion back to the championship, they will need to invest in players that are on form and not injury prone. Their transfer policy will need to change if they want stability in England’s top tier.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Norwich. The current squad is a mix of mature players and young talent. With potential investment on the way and a strong competitive side for the championship. Norwich fans can look forward to sunnier days.