True to summer form, the pace of transfer activity picked up again on the eve of the Premier League transfer window closing tomorrow as City’s much-trailed pursuit of Blackburn keeper Mark Bunn bore fruit – and youngster Tom Adeyemi continued his education at Brentford.
Bunn, 27, joined on a two-year deal overnight; with an option of a third year.
Once again, it is the age that is of interest. From the 23 and 24-year-olds that came to dominate the transfer policy of ex-boss Paul Lambert, so new chief Chris Hughton has gone for the 26-year-old to 28-year-old market place – with the exception of Barnsley starlet Jacob Butterfield.
Hughton clearly likes players who have been around the Premier League block – and in the case of signing No8 for a busy summer, players that he, or his coaching staff, have worked with before.
At Northampton in the case of Bunn, his No2 Colin Calderwood and first team coach Paul Trollope.
“He [Bunn] is a ‘keeper that will give us valuable experience and competition at first team level,” said Hughton, as the switch was officially unveiled on the club website last night.
The move was helped by the arrival on loan at Ewood of Polish international keeper Grzegorz Sandomierski from Genk. This week’s Capital One Cup exit at the first hurdle to MK Dons suggests that all is still not well at the Lancashire club – though, in fairness, Rovers appear to be poised to complete on the £8 million capture of Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield.
Oft mentioned in connection with the Canaries, the one-time Ipswich Town trainee appears to have settled for an immediate future in the Championship as opposed to chancing his arm in the top flight.
Money must also be talking wages-wise.
In the meantime, however, Hughton was simply happy to bolt more experience into his goalkeeping department. One unforeseen injury to new England cap John Ruddy and the Canary chief clearly felt it would be a big ask of either Declan Rudd or Jed Steer to step up to the Premier League plate on a lengthy basis.
Both can now continue their footballing education on loan.
Whether that’s that business-wise remains to be seen; the final 24 hours of any transfer window can always spring the odd surprise or two – the Bunn deal, however, was in the pipeline for a good fortnight before last night’s final announcement.
“We are fortunate to have two very good young goalkeepers and it will hopefully give us an opportunity to give them experience on loan,” confirmed Hughton, his thoughts now turning to this weekend’s return to his former White Hart Lane haunts – the scene, of course, of one of City’s greatest away-day triumphs for many a season last year.
Bunn himself appeared equally delighted at the switch; reunited again with his former Northampton goalkeeping coach, Dave Watson.
“He’s a great coach and guy and I’ve known him for a while, it’s probably a big factor why I came here, and working with the likes of Dave and John Ruddy too can only improve me as a ‘keeper and I look forward to working with them both,” said Bunn.
“I’ve come here as I want to challenge and I want to play and hopefully whoever is playing well will be in goal for Norwich.”
In the meantime, 20-year-old Adeyemi has agreed a six-month loan switch to Griffin Park.
The Canary Academy product enjoyed an extensive run of games on loan at Oldham last season and was at Bradford City before that.
Joining Brentford, therefore, makes perfect sense in terms of nurturing his talents through the lower leagues at a still young age.
Douglas Millar says
I like Hughton’s long term planning. Best to establish the real potential of Rudd and Steer by loan moves. Also establishing the long term fitness of Vaughan and Ayala is a priority. Only the recruitment of Turner and the rehabilitation of Barnett strike discordant notes. City are above all a passing footballing side and Turner’s slowness and Barnett’s lack of ball control undermine that.
City are still light on striking potential. Hughton’s must unlock the potential of Morison who at times last season looked unplayable and create the opportunities for Holt to feed off. Jackson is quick and mobile but does not seem to be a regular scorer. Too often he fails to work the goalkeeper. I hope the manager knows what he might get if rumours about Mackail Smith are true.
All in all some progress has been made but we must aim to get more out of those with obvious top flight potential – Pilkington, E Bennett (when fit),R Bennett, Hoolahan, Howson.
Am I the only Norwich fan who can’t understand the need for all these signings ? We finished comfortably mid-table last season. Surely the squad was pretty sound. We haven’t lost any major players and feel that a couple of defenders and perhaps a striker would have kept us on target.
I worry that a whole new team will take time bedding in and forgive me but weren’t our midfield (Hoolahan,Surman,Crofts) better than Leeds (Howson,Johnson,Snodgrass) for 2 seasons ?