Updated: Norwich City seal a move for Dartford’s Ebou Adams as Alex Neil reveals his deadline day transfer plans
12:09 01 February 2016
JASON DAWSON ©Jason Dawson
Norwich City have sealed a deal for Dartford’s Ebou Adams, but Alex Neil is predicting a quiet deadline day after a hectic transfer window.
Adams’ move was confirmed on Monday lunchtime, with the 20-year-old signing an 18-month deal for an undisclosed fee, to become the seventh new arrival at Carrow Road following the weekend addition of Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford.
Ivo Pinto, Ben Godfrey, Timm Klose and Steven Naismith have already arrived along with a permanent move for Matt Jarvis as Neil gears up for a Premier League survival push.
Adams is part of the club’s longer term strategy to recruit the best young talent, but Neil, speaking prior to confirmation of Adams’ switch, is not expecting a busy few hours ahead of Monday’s 11pm deadline.
“I don’t think you can never say never in the transfer window, but I would say the majority of our business has been done,” said the Scot, at Colney on Monday morning. “However, you can always have the odd thing thrown in at the last minute. Yes, that (Adams) should be done today. It is more of a longer term one, similar to Ben Godfrey, we are trying to plan for further down the line as well. Neither of them is seen as first team players at the moment.
“Overall I think it has been productive. Looking at where we were in the summer and where we wanted to get to we wanted to do a lot of business in January, which is unusual, because the majority of your work normally gets done in the summer. The earlier you get it done the more impact they can have because you bring them in quicker. When you are running about at the last minute that is when misjudgements and mistakes can be made. We are really pleased because we had a plan in place.”
Neil revealed Kyle Lafferty had turned down a potential loan exit, with the Northern Irishman’s former club FC Sion touted with a late swoop, but reports linking Youssouf Mulumbu with Bologna or Steven Whittaker with an imminent switch to Championship side Reading remain speculation.
“No, there is nothing to report at the moment. In terms of players leaving it has gone very quiet,” said Neil. “With Kyle at the end of the day someone has to show interest and make an offer. There has been interest, but it didn’t happen, so he remains part of the squad until such time someone makes a reasonable offer. There was a loan offer available but Kyle decided not to go so it is not something we have completely turned down up to this point as an option.
“I never heard anything about that (Mulumbu). With Youssouf he has been unfortunate in the sense during pre-season he looked in real good nick, he was performing well and then he got injured and he has not quite back to those levels. We hope he will and stake a claim for a position in the team. With Whitts, nothing at the moment.
“I think we are dead on in terms of numbers. We have 26 when they are fit and all training. The under-21s don’t count in that number (25-man Premier League squad lists). What I would say is if I don’t see them playing a part for us and something comes up, as I have done in the past, then I am not going to stop lads playing.”
Adams will be part of Dmitri Halajko’s development squad alongside fellow new recruit Godfrey.
“This is a dream come true for me, and I’ve worked hard to get here,” said Adams, speaking to the club’s official site. “I want to thank Jason Long, Deren Ibrahim and Tony Burman, as well as everyone else at Dartford, for their help. They gave me the opportunity, and that gave me the chance to be spotted by Norwich.
“I’d describe myself as a box-to-box midfielder because I like to get about the pitch. My game is about working hard, and that’s what I need to do now to push on again.”
Dartford confirmed it was a club-record deal on their official site, with Norwich scheduled to play a pre-season fixture at the Conference South club’s Princes’ Park ground.
“Ebou is a product of our extremely successful Academy programme, working very closely with Tony Burman, Steve Mosely, Deren Ibrahim and Jason Long. He made his first team league debut at Macclesfield in the Conference Premier last April and has made 15 starting appearances for the Darts this season.
“Although the full details of the transfer will remain undisclosed, suffice to say, this is the best transfer in the club’s history and Ebou becomes the first player in the club’s history to sign for a Premier League side.
“One element of the transfer is a pre-season friendly with Norwich where we would hope to see Ebou return wearing the Canaries’ yellow and green. We would like to wish Ebou all the good luck in the world and hope that this is the start of a fantastic career ahead of him.”