Paddy Davitt: Good, bad, indifferent. What next for Norwich City’s new intake?
Daniel Farke’s magnificent seven or plenty of work to do? Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt assesses the initial impact of City’s frontline summer signings
• Emi Buendia
Farke expects him to emerge as a key figure once he puts an injury-disrupted pre-season behind him. Some tantalising glimpses of his quality and technical ability already; notably the two assists in the League Cup win at Cardiff City prior to the international break.
Farke believes the Argentine U20 international can operate on either flank or down the middle.
That ability to keep Championship opponents off-balance could become a useful commodity.
• Moritz Leitner
Lovely goal and lovely celebration at Ipswich Town last weekend to open his account for the club he re-joined in the summer.
The 25-year-old should know what English football in the second tier is all about now after his previous loan stint. Leitner’s passing range makes him priceless in Farke’s preferred Norwich City starting line-up.
A deeper role at Portman Road allowed him more time and space to pick a pass.
Stepping into the huge shadow left by James Maddison is unfair. Leitner is a different operator, and understanding the need to give him the right platform across midfield is key to unlocking his creative potential.
• Teemu Pukki
You could argue the pick of the new intake, at this very early stage.
Three goals in seven appearances and no sense the rough and tumble of the Championship is a problem for the bustling Finnish international forward.
Pukki has been around the block across Europe and that nous is evident in the intelligent positions he takes up and the composure in his finishing.
• Ben Marshall
Brought in, by all accounts, as a genuine right back option in the summer.
A touch surprising, given he caught the eye in a more advanced role at Millwall last season. Such versatility may suit Farke but hardly helps Marshall’s cause to nail down a regular starting spot.
Caught out positionally, with consequences, in both league defeats to West Brom and Sheffield United. Farke appeared to acknowledge those defensive concerns when he started Marshall in front of Ivo Pinto down the right flank against Preston.
Clearly has the ability to influence games at this level. Yet to see it on a consistent basis.
• Felix Passlack
Certainly possesses plenty of pedigree but the Borussia Dortmund loanee pitched up in Norfolk during the summer looking to get his career back on track after bursting onto the scene at the top end of the German game.
Passlack looks better going forward than defensively, which lends itself perhaps to a right wing-back role.
The emergence of Max Aarons has done little to smooth his path to the first team at Carrow Road. Work to do.
• Jordan Rhodes
Fitful service in the two games prior to the international break. Rhodes can link the play outside the penalty box but there is no question his best work comes inside it. That requires a supply line from wide areas in the final third.
Manage that dimension and Norwich have a predator who has already shown he is capable of hitting the target. The penalty miss against West Brom carried ramifications for the Canaries that afternoon and maybe proved an unwanted knock to Rhodes’ own self-belief, given he was on the periphery at Sheffield Wednesday for the previous two seasons.
The continuing presence of Nelson Oliveira in the mix now injects a degree of unpredictability regarding Farke’s forward planning.
• Tim Krul
Not good enough so far. Undeniably a really exciting addition who few doubted would be a worthy successor to Angus Gunn.
Another who has had a chronic lack of regular football in recent seasons, after a serious knee injury curtailed his career at Newcastle United.
The gaffe against West Brom followed by a poor concession at his near post in the home defeat to Leeds United brought unwanted scrutiny.
Farke is convinced Krul is a class act who will prove his worth.
A settled defence in front of him from this point would also tip the balance in his favour.
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