If City full-back Jon Otsemobor thought he could put his feet up having seen off the challenge of the luckless Matthew Bates last week, he was to be sadly disappointed after the Canaries tonight confirmed their lastest arrival – ex-Spanish international defender Juan Velasco.
The 30-year-old former Seville and Esponyol star has signed a three-month contract with the Norfolk club after finding himself a free agent last year.
Hence, Roeder's ability to sign him outside the January transfer window – as a free agent, he can be signed at any time during the course of the season.
Signing him on a three-month full-time contract also gets the Canary boss out of another potential hole; that were Velasco still registered with his last club, Espanyol, then today's switch would have to have been of the loan variety – and with six already in the building and with just five places up for grabs, Roeder would have been extremely loathe to complicate that particular picture further.
It is, of course, something that he may yet have to contemplate as he reviews his midfield options ahead of this weekend's home clash with Barnsley. Minus the suspended central midfield pair of Darel Russell and Mark Fotheringham, options are distinctly thin on the ground.
“I'm told that with emergency loans you can have as many as you want,” said Roeder, speaking before this weekend's trip to The Walkers' Stadium and, therefore, little aware of the central midfield 'emergency' that could await.
“The problem is that you can only use five in the 16. And you don't want to be sitting players in the stand because if I was a manager that had loaned a player, I'd be on the phone double-quick. And saying: 'Well, he might as well be sitting in my stand…'
“So we've just got to be careful on that one; we've already had two sitting in the stand. We're still the one over, but in an emergency situation we might look at going into that market again, but you've got to be careful.”
You have to be equally careful when picking your way through the free agent market, too. All too often and players are out-of-contract and available for a reason – all of whoich then sends the alarm bells ringing.
The fact that he has only signed a three-month deal means that all parties are insured against long-term commitments; impresses and he gets a new deal; disappoints and he's home to Spain in the summer.
Not that such moves always end in disappointment. City skipper Mark Fotheringham was a free agent when he left the Swiss club Aarau 13 months ago. Equally, Velasco has been at Colney already on a trial basis and Roeder has had a long enough look at him to know what he's getting for the price of that three-month deal.
Certainly, he needed cover in that position with Otsemobor's sore Achilles requiring pain-killers before both games and training. And with the schedule of fixtures coming up in March likely to stretch City's playing resources to the limit, so with Bates gone and Alex Pearce likely to be handed his first start at centre-half against Barnsley this weekend, so there was a hole to be filled.
Velasco is clearly no mug. For while he may not have featured in Espanyol's all-Spain UEFA Cup final against Sevilla in Glasgow last May, he still managed to make 20 appearances for the Barcelona-based La Liga outfit last season having signed a one-year deal – again as a free agent and on a Bosman – for Espanyol the previous summer.
Roll the clock back two more years and the then 27-year-old was actually signing for Atletico Madrid on a three-year deal following a reported four million euro switch from the relegated Celta Vigo.
All told, he has racked up the better part of 300 La Liga appearances and given the European-wide contacts that Roeder appears to enjoy – hence his chase for Valencia youngster Stephen 'Sunny' Sunday during last month's transfer window – you can only presume that Velasco only arrived in Norfolk with some serious recommendations attached.
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