'It could help for the crucial part' - Farke earmarks Norwich City role for deadline day signing
PUBLISHED: 14:52 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:52 31 January 2019
Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is pleasantly surprised he will get to work with Philip Heise six months early.
Heise has signed a three and a half-year deal to become the Canaries’ first senior signing of the January transfer window – having already agreed to make the switch to City as a free agent in the summer.
Of course, Farke himself is currently facing an expired Canaries contract come the end of this season – but for now, all the focus was on his deadline day signing.
“I’ve followed Philip’s ways for several years and I’m pleased to have him right now,” beamed Farke.
“It’s a bit of a surprise for us that it’s so quick because the plan was to bring him in the summer as a free transfer, but there was a chance to do it a bit earlier and we all got the feeling it’s a good idea, especially because we have a few long-term injuries like Louis Thompson, who plays in quite similar positions to Philip.
“We’ve had it several times with other players from foreign countries that they sometimes need the time to adapt to English football.
“Sometimes you have a guy like Christoph Zimmermann, who was nearly there from the first day really adapted. But also with Mario Vrancic, Tom Trybull a bit, Dennis Srbeny, Marco Stiepermann – it lasted a few months.
“It is more or less a signing for the new season but to do it a bit earlier could already help for the crucial part of this season and also help him to adapt for next season.
“So all in all it’s a win-win situation and it is good to have Philip here.”
Injuries to Thompson and academy product Carlton Morris this month arguably forced City’s arm – although the arrival of Heise does little to relieve the pressure on Norwich’s homegrown options.
Discounting any extensions, the January transfer window expires at 11pm on Thursday. It seems unlikely Norwich have any other business left in them.
“In general we didn’t have anything planned for this window but then we had the injuries to Louis and Carlton, who were looking a bit like new signings,” said Farke.
“Sadly they had these nasty tackles for the under-23s and are more or less out for the rest of the season.
“If you’re really honest, especially in the left full-back position, Jamal Lewis is the only specialist for this. So right now we have a proper left full-back with Philip, who can also play as a wing-back, a left winger, so he’s flexible as well.
“We did make it clear we would look out until the end of the window for some homegrown options but if you’re really honest, it’s difficult to get in this moment because either you have £10m to spend and then you get a guy who is there with many games on this level.
“Or you have to go for a guy who was perhaps out with an injury or not playing at his club for several months – and these options may not help us so much in our situation.
“Sometimes when you’re fighting against relegation or whatever, you go for such a risk but I think we are in such a good situation, we don’t have to take any risks and don’t have to do something stupid in terms of money.
“I don’t think there will be a big surprise that there is a really high-quality young homegrown option that has played many games on this level or even higher like the Premier League, and right now available without spending an unbelievable amount of money.
“So I don’t expect that we will do anything and I expect Philip will be our only business this window – but let’s wait; there are still a few hours left.”
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