So that transfer window has finally closed and I think we must surely agree that it has been the finest one in terms of achievement by Norwich City yet. I reckon it is and the best of fair play to Stuart Webber and the recruitment team. But do the posse agree?
The only way to find out of course is to ask them, so the three beasts from the East [four if you include me] and the best of the North West assemble once more to give MFW their views.
Alex A, aka Ed, reckons: That was a busy transfer window with nine new players inbound and other than Emi Buendia leaving for Villa we are certainly in a much stronger position. No longer will we be reliant on our diminutive Argentinian to provide the fodder for Teemu Pukki [don’t be surprised if he is replaced as first-choice striker during the season], but rather we have several players who I feel are capable of providing assists.
Stuart Webber is on record as saying that two years ago, he sent Daniel Farke *to war without a gun*. This time, he’s provided him with an entire brigade! If you remove Ben Gibson and Dimi Giannoulis from the dealings, then SW will have spent approx. £20million when [if? – Martin] we stay up and Mathias Normann and Ozan Kabak become fully-fledged NCFC players.
It goes without saying that there will be fans bemoaning the fact that we haven’t signed players with Premier League experience blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately, they cost considerably more to buy and demand higher salaries. The lower leagues are littered with teams that have tried to buy success and I would far rather adopt the approach that we have done and let Farke, Eddie Riemer and the other backroom staff work their magic, as they have done with Madders, Godfrey, Buendia, Max Aarons and TC etc in the recent past.
All told, it has been an exceptional transfer window and please give the players time to gel [say mid-November] before deciding that SW has wasted all that money.
I’d like to remind fans that seven years ago at the end of March, Leicester were ‘nailed on’ for relegation, but proceeded to amass 22 points over the last 10 games, scoring 18 goals and conceding just five. We all know what happened the following season.
Alex B our North West dweller suggests: So far we have spent in the region of £50million and received back £33m+ from the sale of Buendia to Villa. I’ve no idea what has been received for any of the loans or if City are paying towards the salaries but those details are private matters between the two clubs concerned.
Has this been a successful transfer window or not? There will be many opinions and conjecture on that but it can only be assessed at the end of the season.
Billy Gilmour, loaned from Chelsea, could be our ace in the hole or another Patrick Roberts. He has all the skills to succeed but whether expectation will put too much pressure on him only time will tell. Playing out of position and trying to adapt will take its toll and he needs shielding during games. Milot Rashica comes with a big reputation if you believe all the papers. I think he has the experience to be a big success and game-changer.
Pierre Lees-Melou came out of nowhere, has lots of top-level experience and is another who could be a great success at City while Brandon Williams was loaned in from Manchester United. Lots of potential but could find it hard in the long run to unseat Dimi on a permanent basis this season.
Giannoulis finally signed permanently after six months in the EPL and needs to fast-track his Premier League learning curve otherwise Williams could replace him. In his last stint in the PL, Gibson was found wanting by Burnley but last season he proved to be an excellent Championship player. Now he is over his injury he really needs to show he has the class for the PL otherwise City could be in trouble.
Mathias Normann never got game time at Brighton but his record shows he did well prior to joining them and on loan moves. Acquired from Rostov, he has been relatively successful as a defensive mid in a very physical league so should be able to protect the back four and Gilmour. Angus Gunn is not really a new incoming player but is great cover and eventually will replace Tim Krul.
Ozan Kabak had a good start to his loan at Liverpool but couldn’t get back into the side after injury. Has the credentials to be a big success at City.
Josh Sergeant started with a bang in the cup win over Bournemouth and should push Pukki this season once he gets up to speed with the PL – a really good signing for City. Christos Tzolis is another that started with a bang and could be the game-changer this season for City.
In all honesty, I think the ins have really improved the squad but integration will be a slow process and as DF says there will be a few bumps along the way.
Cutty whimsically suggests: I’m not going to join in the analysis of the transfer ins and outs, the world and his dog will be doing that, but I must say this summer belongs to Webbo and his team. I hope it’s not his swansong, he’s now earned his place in Canary folklore and given Danny the nuts and bolts to assemble our dream team on a shoestring budget.
Many years ago I helped my son [Hi Tony – Martin] build a kit car. He bought the plans, a green Lotus-type body kit and a few specialist pieces, we then had to source the rest. If we’d had the money we could have bought Jag parts and hey presto, but it was trawling around scrapyards for us. The finished car looked the business, went like a rocket but was useless in the wet and on tight bends.
You get what you pay for, under some conditions it’s brilliant [6-0 v Bournemouth] but overall will it be good enough? Danny the wizard still has some hammering and banging to do and then hopefully we can prance down the yellow brick road avoiding the puddles and the wicked witches of the north.
Bernie Owen concludes: It’s been a cracking last couple of days. There was the chance of another fringe player going out on loan to a Championship side but that’s as exciting as the final day of the window got.
Normann is one hard unit, with more than a modicum of skill and is of a physicality that we needed. Kabak is a steal, this guy was good enough to cover for Virgil Van Dijk in the Liverpool team in the latter part of last season. He’s not just an upgrade at centre-back, he’s a different level.
I am mightily encouraged by the final jigsaw positions that add to the improvements that Rashica, Sargent, Lees-Melou and Tzolis have given to the squad.
Now that pre-season is over we can start our 35-match campaign and what an opening game – Arsenal away!
I feel more confident now than I did at 5pm last Saturday!
And all the very best to Timm Klose in whatever he chooses to do from hereon in. You scored against the $cum Timm, and on top of that, you’ll always be one of us as you will well know. You were one of the finest *characters* to grace the Carrow Road turf and – prost!
Good luck to young keeper Aston Oxborough at Barnet in the National League as well – he deserves to get himself back on track after injury.
A massive thank you to the posse as always and I’m sure we’ll all be back before the January window opens, but in the meantime, we can chill, enjoy our football and see what appertains in a spirit of hope. You know, that commodity which can kill us
But it’s not all about us – please give MFW your views on the window as we’d be pleased to hear them.