As widely predicted earlier this week, Sunderland centre-half Michael Turner duly joined Leeds skipper Robert Snodgrass as Chris Hughton’s third and fourth fresh faces of the summer.
Jacob Butterfield and Steven Whittaker led the new City chief’s summer shopping spree; now 28-year-old Turner and 24-year-old Snodgrass have been added to Norwich’s ranks.
The question, increasingly, is to who, exactly, might make way for the new arrivals given the restrictions placed on squad numbers by the Premier League.
The Canaries certainly won’t be short of competition as everyone jostles for a place in Hughton’s starting plans for August 18.
Before that, however, there is the small matter of the near-traditional pre-season trip to London Road, Peterborough tomorrow – a trip down Memory Lane for both Russell Martin and Ryan Bennett as Hughton enjoys the better part of three weeks bedding his new arrivals in.
“I’m delighted to be able to bring Michael [Turner] into the squad as he is a player with a wealth of Premier League experience,” the City chief told the club’s official website today after seeing signing No4 agree a two-year deal.
Turner made 77 appearances for the Black Cats following his £4 million switch from Hull City; 30 of which came last season. With Titus Bramble and Wes Brown ahead of him in the queue, O’Neill was clearly happy to listen to offers given that the 6ft 4in defender had just a year to run on his existing deal at the Stadium Of Light.
Again, Hughton stressed how important it was for all concerned to have this ‘bedding in’ period ahead of that Fulham opener.
“Like with Snodgrass, Butterfield, and Whittaker, it’s nice to bring players in with a good amount of time left in pre-season so they are able to gel with the squad ahead of the first game of the season,” said Hughton.
Turner had clearly liked what he heard from the new City boss; he also liked what he saw when Sunderland came to Norfolk last season.
“I was really impressed with Norwich last season,” Turner told the club website. “I was on the bench for the game at Carrow Road and I got to see them play, so I was impressed with the players, the stadium and the whole set-up of the club.”
Voted Hull City’s Player of the Season on three occasions, Hughton would appear to have bolted another big, strong character into his dressing room. One who now has a decent level of Premier League experience to his name – certainly more than the Bennetts and the Ayalas of this world.
“I’ve picked up a lot of experience throughout my career and hopefully I can add a bit to the squad here,” added Turner. “I feel good. Last year I played just shy of 30 games and now that I’ve come back to pre-season I feel stronger than ever.”
With Leon Barnett and Elliott Ward also fighting for a defensive slot, Hughton could yet find himself looking to perm four from those five for his forthcoming Premier League campaign.
Of even more interest is the abundance of midfield riches the club now enjoys; begging the thought that someone, somewhere, is going to have to give; there simply isn’t room enough at the inn for all concerned.
Snodgrass, one presumes, will feature heavily; he wasn’t given a three-year deal to make up the numbers. He wants what Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson had; hence his decision to spurn Neil Warnock’s advances and decline a bigger and better Leeds deal.
“Sometimes this window of opportunity doesn’t come about too often, and I jumped at the chance,” Snodgrass told the club site after yesterday’s deal was completed.
“What Norwich did in the Premier League last season speaks for itself. Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson kicked on from Leeds, and when you look at that, you think ‘I want to be part of it!’ and try to get Norwich as far up the table as they can possibly go.”
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