Ebou Adams can shine at Norwich City

Norwich City youngster Ebou Adams in recent development action against Manchester United at Old Traf

Norwich City youngster Ebou Adams in recent development action against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Picture: Jasonpix - Credit: JASON DAWSON/JASONPIX

Norwich City out-flanked their rivals to recruit Dartford's highly-rated prospect Ebou Adams.

Adams signed an 18-month deal for an undisclosed fee on transfer deadline day as part of the Canaries' drive to attract fresh young talent to Carrow Road, with Coventry City prodigy James Maddison joining on the same night.

The 20-year-old midfielder was tracked by Gillingham and a number of other clubs, but City's no-nonsense approach helped tip the balance.

Norwich have agreed to play a scheduled pre-season fixture against the National League (Conference) South club as part of the deal and Darts' co-chairman Steve Irving admitted it was a pleasure doing business with City.

'It was out of the blue,' he said. 'Nobody else had come in for him. We thought possibly there would be one or two others so we were a bit surprised that no-one else did. I know Gillingham were watching him and wanted him to go on trial but they (Norwich) made the offer.

'Norwich came along to our game against Wealdstone and apparently that was the third time they'd been. The next day, they phoned Tony Burman (manager) and said 'we'd like to make an offer' so they did and we negotiated with them.

'We considered (Gillingham's proposal) and rejected it. They wanted to take him on trial so we said 'the best thing for you is to come and watch him play in some hardcore games in the National League' and they weren't interested.'

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Burman is in no doubt Adams can force his way into Alex Neil's first-team set-up.

'Ebou's got a real good chance and I'm sure he's going to grab it with both hands,' he told Kent Online, 'I'd love to have him in my team, playing for the club but you have to realise that, unfortunately, at this moment in time, we are a part-time club and I don't want to stop people having opportunities like this.

'Ebou's joining a good Premier League club. We've dealt with Norwich before and they've handled everything superbly. What they're saying they want for him, it moves him another step forward. I spoke about him to quite a few people. It wasn't just Gillingham. There were other clubs who wanted him in for a week.'