Norwich City A-Z: O is for overseas signings and all the Germans...
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
After the Norwich City foreign legion was bolstered by a German contingent last season, O is for overseas players as David Freezer continues our alternative A-Z series.
All the Germans, so many Germans – as the Carrow Road chant told us last season to the famous Parklife tune.
Last season saw the Norwich City foreign legion bolstered by eight overseas recruits, taking the total to a nice round number of 90 non-UK or Ireland players to have represented for the club.
All eight of them, unsurprisingly had German links, although the Canaries also picked up their first representatives from Cuba and Bosnia & Herzegovina in the process.
Christoph Zimmermann, Marcel Franke, Mario Vrancic, Tom Trybull and Marco Stiepermann were the first arrivals as new head coach Daniel Farke made use of his contacts.
Vrancic arrived from Darmstadt to become the first representative of Bosnia & Herzegovina to join City but moved to Germany as a young child when his family fled their war-torn hometown and went on to represent Germany at youth levels.
Perhaps oddly, the only German to have represented the Canaries before was defender Timm Klose, who was born in Frankfurt but crossed the border with his family to Switzerland at a young age.
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Unlike other European neighbours France, Holland and Spain, Germany had been rather under-represented previously, but that soon changed with Zimmermann, Franke, Trybull and Stiepermann getting stuck in.
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That contingent was bolstered in January when Moritz Leitner, Onel Hernandez and Dennis Srbeny arrived from Germany.
While Leitner – who of course has since had his loan turned into a permanent deal – was a former Germany U21 captain, Hernandez added a new nation to the Canaries ranks. The speedy winger is originally from Cuba and became the first player from the Caribbean island to pull on the yellow and green of City.
Emi Buendia is currently the man poised to become the 91st overseas player to try his luck as a Norwich City player, after the former Argentina U20 attacker was signed from Getafe.
He will not be the first Argentine to play for the club though, following on from the unsuccessful stints of striker Luciano Becchio and Jonas Gutierrez between 2013 and 2015.
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It is still Holland which leads the way though, with no less than 10 players hopping across the North Sea to strut their stuff at Carrow Road.
That goes back to Dennis van Wijk in the early 1980s and has included Leroy Fer, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Yanic Wildschut along the way.
Spain is next up in the list with nine players through the years, started by a single appearance from Antonia Gallego all the way back in 1947 and continuing through to Sergi Canos in 2017.
It may not be long until Germany claim this crown but as long as players do the business for the Canaries, fans won't care less whether they are from anywhere from Antigua to Zimbabwe.