What does the January transfer window have in store for Norwich City?
The January transfer window is open for business. CHRIS LAKEY takes a look at what the main business may be at Carrow Road.
The phrase “under the radar” has been much used in recent months as Norwich City emerged from their early-season doldrums to their present position as genuine promotion candidates.
The words have now been all but abandoned given the ‘secret’ is out... but if January transfer window madness returns, City fans may well wish the radar would reappear and swallow the place up.
The problem they face is that much of the current success has been built around players whose value has risen dramatically. That’s not rocket science, it comes hand in hand with being good at what you do. But while the likes of Timm Klose and Alex Tettey have performed above and beyond this season, in purely financial terms, they are not the crown jewels.
The crown sits on the heads of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia - and a few more.
And if you were a manager with some money to spend, why wouldn’t you be casting your eyes towards NR1? The aforementioned young guns might not be quite ready for regular Premier League football, but what’s to prevent a big club stockpiling? And if that’s their plan, they might consider a loan-back.
This is conjecture of course; City don’t need to sell. It is not imperative that they bank a big cheque. But Norwich City FC is a business and if an offer they can’t turn down comes in, then expect them not to turn it down.
Daniel Farke won’t be left with holes in various parts of the pitch: that would be football suicide, especially when in such a good position.
Forgive the cynicism, but maybe Jamal Lewis being injured for a few games will help City. Maybe avaricious eyes will look elsewhere. Maybe.
There are, clearly, some players that City would like to see off the books: Nelson Oliveira – a view shared by club and player no doubt – and the unlucky Matt Jarvis who, at 32, cannot seriously be considered as part of the club’s blueprint. Ivo Pinto is clearly one who is free to go and there might be questions over Michael McGovern. Steve Naismith and Yanic Wildschut... you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work those out.
Wildschut isn’t pulling up any trees so selling him might be an issue, while Naismith’s contract is up in the summer so he is likely to hang on for a few months before he is able to sort his next move.
Some of the younger players could probably do with loan spells while some already out temporarily could find themselves leaving permanently – and City have a lot of players out on loan...
Goalkeeper Remi Matthews is at Bolton, a deal supposedly becoming permanent, Bolton’s finances permitting; James Husband is at Fleetwood, Sean Raggett at Rotherham, Marcel Franke at Darnstadt with a view to a permanent switch, and last but not least, Naismith at Hearts and Wildschut at Bolton.
There are ‘ins’ to consider – but City would be reluctant to risk upsetting the apple cart given the position they are in: maybe a bit of support strengthening here and there but, essentially, they have a good, strong squad. Why rock the boat?
The window often throws up a surprise or two – that may not be so in City’s case.
The window in England and Scotland opened at one minute past midnight on January 1. Deadline Day is January 31 when the window will close at 11pm.
EFL clubs can have eight players on loan, but can only pick a maximum of five loanees in their matchday squad. They can only sign a maximum of four players from a specific club – of which no more than two can be over the age of 23.
The window in France and Germany runs from January 1-31, but opens a day later, January 2, in Spain. Clubs have less time to do deals in Italy where the window opens on January 3 and closes on January 18.