City boss Glenn Roeder was today expected to unveil his 11th signing of the summer – a loan move for Spurs' teenage Reserve team skipper Troy Archibald-Henville.
The Canary chief had revealed earlier this summer that he would be looking to bolt a further young, centre-half into his thinking following the medium-term injury Gary Doherty sustained in the opening game of Norwich's pre-season tour to Sweden.
And, true to his word, Roeder now looks to have found the young man he was looking for in the shape of 19-year-old Archibald-Henville.
Though he has yet to make a first team appearance for the North London side, he has featured on the bench twice. More tellingly, however, he has been skippering Spurs' Reserve team with some distinction and, therefore, looks like one who could well benefit from a six-month stint at the coalface of Championship football – bridging that gap a la Kieran Gibbs between his teenage years in the club's Youth and Academy set-ups and his emergence as a fully-fledged member of a senior Premiership squad by a stint under Roeder's charge at his Carrow Road finishing school.
What is interesting is what Archibald-Henville's arrival means for the Canary career of Republic Of Ireland Under-19 international Michael Spillane and, by the same token, what the arrival of 18-year-old Gambian striker Omar Koroma means for that of Beccles' England Under-19 striker Chris Martin.
Neither Academy product made it as far as the first team squad photo taken at Carrow Road this week; both have long had a gauntlet laid at their feet by the new City boss.
Both would now appear to have been knocked one step back down the pecking order by Roeder's recent moves in the transfer market. And should No12 hove into view any-time soon – he of the big, strapping centre-forward variety – so Martin's hopes of featuring in the first team will again take a knock.
The lack of a big target man remains the largest chink in Norwich's armour as they and 2,000-plus supporters prepare to kick off the new season at the Ricoh Stadium this Saturday.
Otherwise, Roeder has all but fulfilled his summer mission of having two players fighting for every position in his starting eleven. Indeed, in certain positions he now has three – only one of Luke Chadwick, Lee Croft and new-boy David Bell will squeeze into that right-hand midfield berth.
With Bell still at least three weeks away from fitness after arriving in Norfolk with an ankle injury attached, Croft looks the favourite to start in that role.
Across the middle and Sammy Clingan and skipper Mark Fotheringham would appear to have won the nod ahead of Darel Russell – his two-goal haul and the attitude he demonstrated on being asked to play as a stand-in striker against Colchester United last weekend will, however, have won him several favours with Roeder.
Up front and in the absence of that elusive target man, Jamie Cureton looks likely to command one of the positions – if only through his experience and fitness.
Arturo Lupoli admitted that he is still some way short of match fitness after his arrival from Fiorentina; the 'wild card' may yet to be to give 'OJ' his first start for the Canaries – and then sit back and watch Harry Redknapp's latest African signing rip into Chris Coleman's Sky Blues.
At the back, all eyes will be on Ryan Bertrand's fitness after the on-loan Chelsea starlet picked up a slight knee strain in the 5-1 defeat by Spurs. Held back for the U's game with one eye on the Coventry clash, the fact that ex-City skipper Adam Drury has a slight hamstring strain merely reinforces the need for Bertrand to come through this week unscathed.
Dejan Stefanovic and John Kennedy look penned in to form a wholly new centre-back partnership with on-loan Fulham defender Eillott Omozusi favourite for the right-back gig.
The 19-year-old is expected to shine in his new surroundings – certainly by Fulham's development coach Billy McKinley.
“We have Omozusi out on loan at Norwich this season, which is an excellent move for him, to gain vital first team experience,” he told the official Fulham web site.
“He had got to the stage where the Development Squad games weren't aiding his progression. Getting 25 to 30 games for Norwich will do him the world of good. We hope that this experience will help him come back next season and be ready to go with the first team.”
In the meantime, City's hopes of banking a ?1 million-plus windfall from the sale of Dean Ashton from West Ham United to their London rivals Spurs look to be getting stuck in a war of words with Upton Park chiefs recognising it would go down like the proverbial lead balloon if their star striker moved to White Hart Lane on the eve of the new campaign.
West Ham's chief executive Scott Duxbury claimed: “Hell would have to freeze over for us to sell Dean to a major rival.”
Given that there is an icy blast busily passing through the corridors of the club's owners – an Icelandic Bank hit by the credit crunch – an offer nearer the ?20 million mark may still prove too hard for the Hammers to resist.
Ashton himself may also have a hand in events; if he fancies the switch to Spurs then West Ham's hand may be forced.