Who’s next out of the exit door?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
As one Norwich City star looks to be heading out of the Carrow Road door, supporters will probably be asking 'who's next?'
Alex Pritchard and James Maddison had begun to form an impressive partnership on the pitch, but there was another link off it too – both players were highly-touted with big-money transfers.
Pritchard's move to Premier League Huddersfield seems to be a mere formality now, but can Norwich afford to sell any more stars – Maddison in particular?
For a club which has told fans it doesn't have to sell its crown jewels, the imminent departure of Pritchard for a fee in excess of £10m is hard to stomach.
But what if Maddison were to go as well?
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Would the club dare sell him and if they did, what would the effect be on the team's morale, and that of the supporters?
Season ticket renewal notices will be dropping through letterboxes soon - this is no time to add insult to injury by allowing another star to depart.
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That Pritchard and Maddison have interested other clubs is no surprise: money bags Wolves have been linked with Maddison and bookmakers Bet Victor have opened a market on his next club. Whatever the merits of that business move, the fact that Arsenal and Spurs are among his admirers – two teams with rather more Premier League cash to spare than Huddersfield you'd assume – means there will always be temptation in front of City's movers and shakers.
Fans are the lifeblood of the football club, and when they see top players going through the exit door, they see ambition go with them. The chances of City making the play-offs by the end of the season will be much, much better if Pritchard and Maddison were to be involved.
Once ambition goes, the lure of playing for Norwich City diminishes: and that isn't going to attract new signings of sufficient quality.
Maybe Pritchard wants to leave; maybe he doesn't think City's ambitions match his. Maybe he feels this is his best chance of playing Premier League football and he wants to take it. And if he feels like that, who else does?
Norwich City fans have always watched transfer windows with interest... they will be hoping the club matches their own ambitions.