City boss Peter Grant finally admitted it this week – the Canaries are short on numbers at the back. With only Jason Shackell, Gary Doherty and the ageless Dion Dublin the only recognised central defenders, it was a major surprise that we did not see another through the revolving door at Colney this summer.
Whilst that could have all changed with the arrival of Ryan Shawcross ? now on loan at Stoke City from Manchester United ? it has still been one of the major talking points of the summer.
It could all be about to change soon ? with Grant admitting his admiration of Wigan defender Fitz Hall ? but in the middle of the hullabaloo sits a young Irishman, waiting in the wings very patiently, desperate for his crack at the big-time.
Michael Spillane has been a 'hot prospect' for a while now having graduated from the youth academy and some had expected him to have already made his mark.
But the Cambridge-born defender-cum-midfielder has been in sparkling form for City's second string this season and Grant may not be able to ignore him forever.
After all, he's still only 18, but this is an ambitious and talented young man we are talking about.
He has found the net in his last two games ? in Ireland's Under-19 friendly against Portugal last week and from the penalty spot to clinch a 2-1 success over MK Dons for the reserves on Monday night ? not bad for a man usually found as part of the back four.
And Spillane is fairly happy at his start to the campaign?.
“The start of the season has been ok,” said Spillane.
“I've played a few games now for the reserves and have been away with Ireland so it's going pretty well. I was pleased with my goal at MK Dons on Monday night and it was a good result for us.
“I've taken a few penalties now and it seems I am the designated penalty taker. I haven't missed so hopefully that can continue.”
As is often the case with so-called utility players, their versatility can count against them but whilst Spillane will slot in anywhere for the Canary cause, he feels playing at centre-half may be the best option for his long term career.
“To be honest I haven't got a favourite position,” he added. “I know it's a clich? but I'll play anywhere for the team but I'd say centre-half and centre-midfield are my best two positions.
“Maybe in the long term I will end up being a centre-half but I'm still not sure where my best position is.
“For the first-team it is hard to break in as an 18-year-old but it is something that I am confident I can do although at the same time I'm still young and still learning.”
First drafted in by ex-City boss Nigel Worthington, he also made five appearances at the back end of last season and by and large, he has always performed admirably.
Now for the next step ? becoming a first-team regular.
“When I've been put into the first-team I don't think I've ever let the team down so I'm confident that when I'm called upon again I can do a good job. But maybe the hard bit is the manager trusting in me enough to put me in but hopefully it will come soon.
“I think one of the main factors I'm not in there at the moment is that I'm still so young. I seem to have been on the fringes for a while now but I'm only 18 and have still got a lot of learning to do.
“Centre-half is not usually a position where young people play really and concentration levels have got to be very high.
“But my goal has got to be to get in the first-team sooner rather than later. That's where I want to be. My aim is to play as many first-team games as possible and I feel like I need to be doing that for my development as well.”
With Grant readily admitting that he is looking to send his promising youngsters out on loan to sample life in the lower leagues, has it ever been on the cards for Spillane to do a Joe Lewis or a Ryan Jarvis and continue his schooling elsewhere?
We've seen the benefit it has already had on Lewis ? who spent last week training with the England Under-21s after a promising start to life at Morecambe? and with the reserve team set-up at Norwich providing a sore topic of conversation for Grant and Co, it would surely make sense for Spillane to sharpen his first-team tools in League One or League Two.
Then again, he could be needed at Carrow Road sooner than you think.
“Would I go out on loan somewhere? I'm not sure really,” revealed Spillane.
“I might go if I was going to be playing every week and I wasn't needed at the time at Norwich and not in the squad or anything. But I wouldn't want to leave Norwich with no cover or options at centre-back and leave them having to put somewhere in there out of position.
“The manager has said he's thinking about sending me out somewhere but at the moment we haven't got enough cover in the positions I play.”