Promising start for Mitchell Dijks at Norwich City and Yanic Wildschut will soon follow suit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mitchell Dijks was left lying flat on his back as his Norwich City debut finished, completing a whirlwind week which couldn't have gone much better.
The giant Dutchman was simply trying to catch his breath after being thrown straight in at the Championship deep end and finding he was more than capable of keeping his head above water.
Dijks had only joined City on loan from Ajax on Tuesday, signing up for the remainder of the season on deadline day, with an option for a permanent deal should promotion be achieved.
It was a similar story for his Dutch compatriot Yanic Wildchut, also making a swift debut after joining from Wigan in a deal worth £7million on deadline day.
However, the former Middlesbrough winger already knows English football well, whereas Dijks was having to contend with a Cardiff side drilled in the resilient, direct style of Neil Warnock. The 23-year-old got stuck in straight away though, forming a formidable anti-missile defence alongside Timm Klose on the left side of the Canaries' defence in South Wales.
As well as some towering headers, he out-muscled Cardiff's big striker Kenneth Zohore and left him on the ground as he also showed his pace as he charged forward in the opening minutes.
An unexpected body-swerve also left Kadeem Harris for dust in the 15th minute, only for Cameron Jerome to be offside from his whipped cross from the left.
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There were nervy moments as well, including poor ball control later in the first half and having to charge across to prevent a corner, but Dijks showed he has all the ability needed to make his time in Norfolk a success.
Wildschut, enjoyed a less eye-catching debut as he tried to get to know his new team-mates in a scrappy game, but City boss Alex Neil is confident the 25-year-old will soon find his feet.
'He was taken off because I thought he could have done better, so I put somebody else on,' Neil said after his team's 1-0 win.
'The problem that you've got signing a new player is he's going to take time to adjust and like the Murphy brothers, I thought he showed flashes of what he can do, but I don't think the game was suited to wingers who can go and dribble and link with people, it was more of a battle than anything else.'