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Can City find more hidden gems among free agents?

PUBLISHED: 15:52 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 06 August 2020

Can Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber find quality in the free transfer market? Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

Can Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber find quality in the free transfer market? Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

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With the transfer window open and Canaries boss Daniel Farke admitting his desire for experienced players, Connor Southwell looks at some of the free transfer options available this summer

Norwich City have had plenty of joy in recruiting low-risk players for small fees.

Here are some players available on a free transfer this summer that they could target, with one domestic and one foreign option given for each position.

GOALKEEPERS

Jonathan Bond (West Brom)

Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond could provide some much-needed competition for Tim Krul. Picture: Tim Goode/PA ImagesGoalkeeper Jonathan Bond could provide some much-needed competition for Tim Krul. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Images

Both as a homegrown option and someone who wouldn’t command a fee, the 27-year-old could add competition to City’s goalkeeping ranks.

The 6ft 5ins keeper has been predominantly a back-up option during his career and after leaving West Brom he may be looking for a move that can guarantee him first team football.

Anton Mitryushkin (FC Sion)

The former Russian youth international, 24, has been on trial with French top-flight side Monaco after a spell in Switzerland with FC Sion.

Whilst he would provide Tim Krul which some much-needed competition, Mitryushkin will not be short of offers from sides who deem him as good enough to nail down a starting berth.

DEFENDERS

Mike van der Hoorn (Swansea City)

The 27-year-old is expected to have a queue of suitors after impressing in the heart of Swansea City’s defence for four seasons.

Mike van der Hoorn is expected to have plenty of suitors this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdMike van der Hoorn is expected to have plenty of suitors this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The former Dutch under-21 international is regarded as one of the most progressive central defenders in the Championship - having featured heavily in Steve Cooper’s possession-based Swansea City side.

His technical proficiency is matched with a physicality and age profile which will make him an attractive option for numerous clubs at Championship level and beyond.

Timo Letschert (Hamburg)

Letschert is another Dutch youth international who spent last season with Bundesliga Two side Hamburg - making 24 appearances and scoring twice.

The 27-year-old is an aerially dominant, technically proficient central defender operating within another side who sought to dominate the ball under former head coach Dieter Hecking.

The 6ft 2ins centre-back spent his early years in the Netherlands before securing a move to Serie A side Sassuolo. Letschert was even in the Netherlands senior squad for friendlies against France and England in 2016.

MIDFIELDERS

Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town)

Elias Kachunga is available on a free transfer this summer after leaving Huddersfield Town. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA ImagesElias Kachunga is available on a free transfer this summer after leaving Huddersfield Town. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Images

Kachunga is a name familiar to City’s sporting director Stuart Webber, given he was responsible for bringing the 28-year-old to English shores when in a similar role at Huddersfield.

The speedy winger can also operate as a striker, but if City are looking to inject some fresh pace alongside Przemyslaw Placheta and Onel Hernandez, then Kachunga could tick that box.

His offensive output and technical quality are both major question-marks, with his physicality being key to his game.

Kevin Stoger (Fortuna Dusseldorf)

Stoger is an Austrian central midfielder who has been released by Fortuna Dusseldorf after two seasons with the club.

In many respects, the 26-year-old playmaker fits the profile of signing that City have targeted in recent years - he was a major prospect whilst at Stuttgart but has failed to fulfil his potential.

In Fortuna’s first season in the top flight he was instrumental to their side. Injury woes saw him spend the second half of last season in the treatment room, but he could offer the Canaries an option if they wish for a direct replacement for Mo Leitner should he leave the club. City have targeted more physicality in their engine room after defensive frailties in the Premier League - something that Stoger wouldn’t enhance.

STRIKERS

Could City turn to Chris Martin to offer some much-needed Championship experience?
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdCould City turn to Chris Martin to offer some much-needed Championship experience? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Martin (Derby County)

Born in Beccles and nurtured in City’s academy, the Scot could have a similar influence to that of Jordan Rhodes in 2018/19.

His physical presence would provide the Canaries with another dimension in their offensive phases of play. But at 31, the former City striker doesn’t fit the age profile favoured in City’s recruitment model.

Martin would offer some much-needed Championship nous and natural goal-scoring capability to complement Teemu Pukki and the youthful endeavour of Adam Idah.

Jean-Christophe Bahebeck (FC Utrecht)

Bahebeck was highly-regarded during his developmental years at French giants Paris Saint-Germain but Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic blocked his pathway to the first-team.

Loan spells in France, Italy and Holland came prior to a permanent move to FC Utrecht in 2018. The speedy 27-year-old forward scored 13 goals in 41 games for the Dutch top-flight side and fits the bill in terms of profile.

With thanks to Dan O’Hagan and @ScoutXd1 for their help.


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