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Canaries Debate: Should Norwich City cash in on one of their young prospects?

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 January 2020

Could cashing in on Max Aarons help the Norwich City cause?  
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Could cashing in on Max Aarons help the Norwich City cause? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

At the beginning of the January transfer window, there would have been numerous Norwich City supporters praying that February would arrive without the club cashing in one of their young talents.

At the beginning of the January transfer window, there would have been numerous Norwich City supporters praying that February would arrive without the club cashing in one of their young talents.

Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell have been the subjects of constant speculation that has seen them linked with big-money moves to high-profile clubs, something City have managed to resist to date.

Jamal Lewis has become the latest name to be touted with a Premier League outfit, with Crystal Palace becoming the latest team said to be interested in the Northern Irish international.

Whether any of this speculation has been backed with up with a genuine bid remains unknown, but it begs the question - should City cash in on a young star to inject some fresh investment into a struggling squad?

Despite an important victory against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, City sit bottom of the Premier League and in desperate need of some consistency as they look to complete their great escape.

Refuse to scratch beyond the surface, and any consideration of parting with key talent seems inexcusable given the Canaries current situation.

Every point is crucial, that in turn means City need all the quality they can assemble if the tide is to turn in such a dramatic fashion.

City's academy graduates have helped propel Daniel Farke's men into the top-flight, a somewhat unexpected feat given the direction of travel many expected following the German's debut season at Carrow Road.

Jamal Lewis has been linked with Crystal Palace. 
Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images LtdJamal Lewis has been linked with Crystal Palace. Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd

Farke is a youth-enabling coach who was responsible for nurturing the young talent of German giants Borussia Dortmund and, in City, his faith in young operators has been proven once more.

First, it was James Maddison. When City required a prospect to develop and sell on as they stared down the barrel of a potential financial abyss, the attacking midfielder dazzled in a season where his goals were virtually responsible for ensuring City stayed in the Championship.

Farke threw Lewis in the deep end when he presented the Northern Irish international with his first senior start at Birmingham on Boxing Day of 2017, just days after City's dispiriting defeat to Brentford at Carrow Road.

Aarons was another who was shown trust, with the Canaries chief handing him his debut in the rough and tumble of an East Anglian Derby.

Ondrej Duda made his mark on his Norwich City debut against Bournemouth Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdOndrej Duda made his mark on his Norwich City debut against Bournemouth Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The full-backs in particular were key to the implementation of Farke's ideological style of play. They aided City's creation of a six-man midfield as they sought to dominate games in the Championship with their possession-based philosophy.

Aarons and Lewis were crucial components in creating overloads and providing City with width, allowing their inverted wingers to explore the space in-between opponents' defensive and midfield lines.

City's right-back is beginning to thrive on the top-flight stage, whilst Lewis has been in the shadows due to impressive performances by Sam Byram.

City's swashbuckling full-backs have been forced to be more pragmatic given the ruthlessness of the Premier League, but their performances are still thought to be catching the attentions of potential suitors.

Ben Godfrey is another starlet attracting interest. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdBen Godfrey is another starlet attracting interest. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Whilst some clubs may have let temptation get the better of them, City have categorically ruled out selling Aarons this window.

That said, on Saturday, City profited from the impact of fresh blood, with debutant Ondrej Duda adding some quality to their offensive passages of play.

The Slovakian's intelligence positionally, coupled with his ability to receive the ball in tight spaces made him an entertaining watch on Saturday.

His ability to play with limited touches and complete the simple tasks effectively aided Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell's output.

If City could guarantee quality in the same measure in more areas should one of those key men depart, would it be worth sanctioning a deal that sees one of their youngsters leave the club?

Farke's deep-held beliefs and his willingness to improve young talent has been evident ever since he took the reins at Carrow Road.

By the same token, completing business in January is difficult, especially given City aren't an attractive entity at present.

Throwing money at the problem would break every convention set by the current hierarchy at the club and would prove detrimental to City's long-term aspirations.

Major disruption to a squad can create inconsistency, something City could do without. Harming morale and managing perceptions would also prove testing given spending money increases expectation.


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