Norwich City: A bad season with a worse summer to follow?
Like a canary in a coal mine, Norwich have been the first to fall. They did so without so much as a breath of fight too as Michael Antonio tore them to pieces a week ago. Despite how bad their season has been though, things could still get worse. Although, it’s hard to believe – particularly after their showing against Burnley yesterday – amongst the squad there are several Norwich City players that have landed on the radar of bigger clubs. If they move on, next season might not be the immediate return they desire.
Here we look at five that might be on their way out.
Number 5. Jamal Lewis
Northern Ireland international left back Lewis is the first of a few defenders we’ll touch on here. The 22-year-old has been with Norwich since joining them from Luton as a youngster. He has since gone on to make 97 appearances for the club. With just one game remaining this season, it’s possible he won’t make his century. The club have been firm with their stance that no player will be sold on the cheap. The trouble is, once a player wants to go, it’s rare that the existing club wins the fight. Where Lewis is concerned, links are more speculative than absolute bankers but rumours of Jurgen Klopp seeing him as a back-up option to Andy Robertson are sure to have the full backs ears burning.
Number 4. Todd Cantwell
If you watch Todd Cantwell play, he’s tidy on the ball, contributes in the final third and – although it’s not his game – he doesn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities. So why does he often appear to be Daniel Farke’s fall guy? He’s been subbed off 20 times throughout the season. Regardless, his ability to retain possession, which is backed up with an 82% pass completion, combined with the fact he’s chipped in with six goals, has encouraged a few clubs to keep an eye. Newcastle and Leicester are perhaps more likely destinations than the Liverpool and Man City links that have been thrown about. Either way, he’s surely too good for the Championship.
Number 3. Ben Godfrey
10 years ago Godfrey, 22, probably wouldn’t be attracting the same attention he is now but times have changed. He’s far from a dominant figure at the back with a tackle success and aerial dual win rate of around 60%. Not bad but not at the level of a top class defender. Where he does look good though is stepping out from the backline. A pass completion of 88.6% is very strong. RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, who are known to develop youth, have both expressed an interest but they reportedly face competition from Arsenal and Tottenham. Even with such big clubs interested, a quoted valuation of £50m feels somewhat ambitious.
Number 2. Max Aarons
Aarons only made his senior debut last season but has featured in nearly every game since. Tottenham are believed to be the leading contender for Aarons’ signature but he’s not your stereotypical Mourinho man. That means he plays his best stuff going forwards and can be suspect defensively. Other right backs – such as Sergino Dest – have also been watched by Spurs though so there is obviously a desire to add to that area of the team. Will Aarons be the man to prove Mourinho is open to changing his approach? If he is, expect a hike in his share price.
Number 1. Emiliano Buendia
When you’ve come through the Real Madrid academy it’s pretty hard for anyone to question that you have technical ability in abundance. Buendia, 23, might have taken an alternative route to the elite level but he’s certainly been one of the best Norwich City players this season. Former Canary, James Maddison, is widely perceived to be one of the more creative talents in the Premier League but Buendia has actually created more chances. It’s just that he’s not feeding someone as clinical as Jamie Vardy. If he was, then he’d probably have far more than seven assists.
The Argentine has only found the net himself once though. It’s an area where he’ll be keen to improve but with a desire to pass forwards combined with an overall passing accuracy of 80% it will be a minor miracle if he doesn’t stay in a top league. Newly crowned Championship winners, Leeds, have been linked whilst La Liga duo Valencia and Atletico Madrid have also been mentioned.
There you have it, five Norwich City players who could all move on during the summer transfer window. If they do, it’s fair to say the Canaries may well find themselves a tad light as they look to bounce straight back.