I spent Wednesday morning with the song Son of a Gun knocking round my head. Yes, the jaunty singalong from 90s keyboard hide-behinder JX. No prizes for guessing why, with the confirmation that Angus ‘Son of Bryan’ Gunn is returning to Carrow Road on a more permanent basis.
However, I suspect my lightness of spirit has more to do with the week’s other transfer dispatches. Principally, the announcement of Milot Rashica. Aside from one or two keen Bundesliga followers, anyone who denies their initial reaction was “Who?” is clearly lying. But in no time at all, evidence was building that Kosovan Werder Bremen attacker Rashica is much more than just a continental obscurity.
Rather, it looks as if Stuart Webber has once again pulled off an audacious swoop, netting a player with both an excellent track record and huge potential, but at a fraction of the price that might have been demanded at a different time.
I don’t know about you but I picture Webber heading off on his shopping trips to Germany and other foreign parts like a Victorian plant collector embarking for the Hindu Kush. And the success rate of getting these acquisitions to blossom in Norfolk is testament to his eye for a good prospect. (That’s probably enough of the botanical metaphors.)
Added to the Rashica news came word that Norwich are leading the charge to sign Billy Gilmour on a season loan. This also looks like excellent business, with Gilmour’s profile having rocketed since his fine performance for Scotland against England. Norwich’s ability to pick the best blooms at the Chelsea Flower Show (oh come on) could be a benefit of Daniel Farke’s previous working relationship with Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund. And apparently there’s a good chance of giant Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer arriving from Celtic.
It’s likely that the bulk of the summer’s transfer activity will take place once the Euros are done and dusted (and for that matter, the Copa America) but Norwich seem to be making some early moves and there’s already a sense of the disappointment over Buendia’s exit beginning to be replaced by excitement at the new additions.
The arrival of Angus Gunn coincides with the departure of Orjan Nyland. We would be saying “Farewell Orjan, we hardly knew ye” were it not for his great gesture in giving his Championship winner’s medal to Teemu Pukki when they were handed out at the end of the season.
Clearly Orjan, like so many Webber signings, was built of the right stuff and made a good contribution behind the scenes. The same is obviously true of Michael McGovern, who now has a mentoring role among the goalkeepers and we know how much Norwich City means to Angus. What a perfect environment in which to develop for Daniel Barden. And that’s before we even mention Tim Krul, surely one of football’s nicest blokes.
Bryan Gunn is a club legend, whose contribution extends so far beyond his hugely notable achievements on the pitch. It’s fitting that after an episode that seriously tested Norwich’s ‘family club’ credentials, the son of the legend is now back. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (That’s it, I’m out of here.)