City boss Chris Hughton today moved to plug the alarming defensive lapses revealed by Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Fulham by slamming in 26-year-old Sabastien Bassong into his back line.
The Spurs centre-half this morning joined the Norfolk club on a three-year deal – re-uniting player and manager together after Hughton gave the Cameroon international his first break in English football with Newcastle in 2008.
Where we went on to be Player of the Season in 2008-2009. It also helped propel him into an £8 million switch to White Hart Lane; only to find himself stuck in a queue of centre-halves.
But there is little doubt he is a player of some pedigree and will bring to the party a strength and athleticism that can only add to the range of options available to Hughton.
His arrival – in common with that of Michael Turner and Javier Garrido – also marks another significant turning point in terms of City’s previous recruitment policy. Players are now arriving with both Premier League experience and wage packets under their belt.
Young, hungry and lean was the Class of 2011-12; this time round and whilst the likes of Jacob Butterfield still fit that mould to a ‘T’, Turner, Garrido and Bassong come from another drawer altogether.
The fact that there is an existing bond between manager and player is a big plus; the fact that Hughton also brought the best out of Bassong in his debut season on this side of the Channel another.
It will also be interesting to see whether the team that starts against QPR features a back four that is 50% different from the one that crumbled at Craven Cottage.
Either way, Hughton doesn’t appear to be mucking around as he continues to rebuild the squad he inherited ahead of the summer transfer window closing in ten days time.
“Sebastien is a player that I have known well since my time at Newcastle and I’m delighted to have brought in someone with the Premier League experience he has got,” the Canary chief told the club’s official website this morning.
“He will give us power and pace at the back and again add to the competition in the squad.”
Spurs’ own official statement, released just after noon today, was short and to the point as new boss Adreas Villas-Boas looked to regain some early momentum after Tottenham lost their own opening day fixture away at Newcastle United.
“We have reached agreement with Norwich City for the transfer of Sebastien Bassong,” read the statement.
“The Cameroon defender made a total of 72 appearances for the Club and scored three goals since his move from Newcastle United three years ago.
“We wish Sebastien all the best for the future.”
As is the nature of these transfer beasts these days, there was no mention of a precise fee. Just a three-year deal for the player.
Likewise, @BassongOfficiel also broke the news.
‘Morning tweeps!!ive been officially transfered to Norwich today!3 years deal!another chapter in my football life!
To be fair, it was Keegan that gave him his chance in English football, Hughton was assistant at the time…