The Canaries tonight bolted a whole new centre-half pairing into their thinking as City finally wrapped up a deal for the 'Fulham Two' – 33-year-old Dejan Stefanovic and his teenage, on-loan side-kick Elliot Omozusi.
Stefanovic has long carved out a name for himself as a rock-like centre-half; the teenage Omozusi has proved to be equally at home at both right-back and right-sided centre-half.
Suddenly City's defensive cupboard is not looking quite so bare as Roeder perms two from three on the right – be it Omozusi, Jon Otsemobor or Gary Doherty; and two from four on the left – be it Stefanovic, Jason Shackell, Adam Drury or Ryan Bertrand. The Canary boss also has Michael Spillane to throw somewhere into that defensive mix.
Stefanovic's arrival on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee ends a lengthy chase for his signature by Roeder – he had first taken a shine to the big-hearted Serb when he was still at Vitesse Arnhem; before he had gained cult hero status at Fratton Park under Harry Redknapp.
“He's a player that I tried to sign when I was at West Ham after he first caught my eye at Vitesse Arnhem,” Roeder told the club's official website tonight.
“I couldn't afford him then, but I have a second opportunity to work with him now and I am very much looking forward to it.”
What was particularly telling about tonight's club announcement was the revelation that both players had been funded – indeed, “entirely financed” – by members of the Norwich City board. That, of course, is designed to prove that there is life after Peter Cullum and his missing ?20 million.
Roeder himself expressed his thanks to the board for putting the finance in place to let the 'Fulham Two' arrive. Stefanovic certainly won't have come cheap; characters that have had a club captain armband sewn into their sleeve for as long as he has don't come cheap.
He is a dressing room leader in the Dion Dublin-mould; a character hewn from the same kind of stone as a Dave Watson or a Steve Bruce. Big signing; big signing.
“I'm very grateful for the financial contribution from Delia [Smith] and Michael [Wynn Jones], Andrew and Sharon Turner and Michael Foulger in making these deals possible,” said Roeder. “Their ongoing support this summer is vitally important.”
Omozusi – nickname 'Junior' – will also have come with a loan fee attached and offers Roeder the kind of bright, young thing in exactly the same way that Bertrand does on the opposite flank. The fact that he can step inside and play at centre-half is a big bonus in what remains a pretty small squad.
“Elliot is a young player who we have been aware of for some time,” Roeder told the official website this evening, as the City chief used Lee Clark's Craven Cottage links to full effect.
“He's hugely talented and has been known to Lee Clark at Fulham.
“We hope that, like Ryan Bertrand, we can bring him on as a talent, so that he returns to his club a better player.”
Stefanovic could yet prove to be a big, big piece in Roeder's 2008-2009 jigsaw – even if he might have Shackell wondering where, exactly, his City future lay.
The no-nonsense Serb is, clearly, one of those 'leaders of men' characters that pop up all too infrequently – and, of course, he comes with Redknapp's seal of approval attached.
For whatever else anyone has ever said about the Pompey boss, few could ever deny that 'Arry knows a good player when he sees one; to be club skipper under Redknapp is a badge of distinction that bodes well for the Canaries.
Indeed, it is hardly a disgrace to find your route to a starting berth at Fratton Park being blocked by Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell; certainly Redknapp appeared in no hurry to move the Serb on last summer as his hopes of a regular starting berth for Portsmouth began to fade.
“'I'm a big fan of Dejan ? I love him,” Redknapp told the Portsmouth News, as both Rangers and Fulham began to circle the then 32-year-old.
“He's still a very good player. He's always been a centre half, but at the start of the season he played left-back for me and did really well. As long as I'm here, I want Dejan here. I've got no problems with him at all.”
In the end, however, Stefanovic also wanted first team football; something that Roy Hodgson could not offer him as he started to make his own mark at Craven Cottage.
The player himself appeared keen to make a mark; no evidence of anyone taking a two-year retirement ticket.
“I have been in talks for some weeks now and I'm delighted that a deal has finally been struck for me to join Norwich City,” he told the club site.
“We want to be playing Premiership football again as soon as possible – and I would like to do that with Delia Smith's Norwich City.”
Hodgson's long-standing friendship with Delia ought not to be under-estimated; he has long been a favourite football friend and has made a number of personal appearances in the City directors' box before now.
The real trick to nipping all that Cullum hangover in the bud will, however, come at the other end of the team – up front where, tonight, Jamie Cureton continues to cut a lonely figure.
Arturo Lupoli is still presumed to be en route – certainly the Italian football media have him Norfolk-bound after his no-show for Fiorentina's opening friendly of the summer. He could, quite easily, fly direct to Sweden and team up with Roeder and Co there.
The corner-stone to Roeder's thinking – Stefanovic aside – remains to be found. The Big 'Un up front off whom Cureton, Lupoli and Co will need to play.
Which, as ever, ensures that all eyes return to Shola Ameobi's whereabouts. Stefanovic bossing everyone at the back; Wes Hoolahan rummaging through his bag of party tricks on the left and Ameobi slammed straight through the middle up front – that all starts to make sense.
Injuries permitting, that ought to be top half Championship. Provided, of course, Roeder can find Cureton one or two pals of Ameobi's ilk to play with.