Good business - plus Neil Adams keeps hold of his Norwich City aces
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2014
Neil Adams will wake up this morning relieved, you'd figure, that his first transfer window is over and done with.
January is usually regarded as the most frantic of the two windows, when managers – and supporters – become frazzled by the activity.
The whole exercise led to City's rookie manager sitting there yesterday with some massive pieces of possible transfer business still doing the rounds of the rumour mill. While the powers that be knew exastly what was happening with Nathan Redmond and Gary Hooper, the speculation has launched a thousand dodgy Twitter accounts orchestrated by those purporting to be ITK, or In The Know, about all things NCFC when, really, all they know is that mum brings in their cup of tea around about mid-day and that they hate being caught with their trousers down.
Redmond and Hooper are interesting cases. Clearly they were both on certain shopping lists this summer, but City have been steadfast in their refusal to let them go. Every player is for sale at the right pice, and it's unlikely City would have turned down silly money if it came up, but the air about Carrow Road is of a club determined to get themselves back on track. Redmond and Hooper are players who, when fit, are valuable to Adams.
Redmond is not the finished article: his final ball is clearly in need of some TLC. But he is a young man with bags of promise – that's either an excuse for the failings in his game or an optimism that all will improve. He has incredible pace so he's halfway there already – but when will the other half show? If City can improve Redmond, then they not only have a very good player on the books, they have a very valuable asset. If.
Also, if they were to let Redmond leave, it would place a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Josh Murphy, who appears best suited to challenge for his role. Maybe in January or next summer – if Redmond improves and becomes a wanted man again, City will have a ready made replacement.
You can understand Adams' reluctance to let Hooper leave given his record at this level. But Hooper has virtually missed pre-season so was anyone really going to buy him? It would take far too long to get him up to speed and in football, everything has to be done yesterday. Hooper hasn't asked to leave and City would be well within their rights to slap a tasty price tag on him. It would stop those troublesome cold callers.
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Besides, beyond Lewis Grabban and Kyle Lafferty there isn't a proven regular scorer in the squad.
Fortunately, the questions over Redmond and Hooper don't need to be asked this morning. Which makes it good business by City and by Adams.