Was selling Bradley Johnson a good or bad deal for Norwich City?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The sale of City's current player of the year to Derby County has split fans. Head of Sport CHRIS LAKEY and Deputy Sports Editor MARK ARMSTRONG debate whether it was right to cash in on the 28-year-old
Transfer deadline day can start an argument in an empty room.
This week's activity was going reasonably smoothly, until news broke of Bradley Johnson's exit – and the midfielder suddenly became the shiniest jewel in the yellow and green crown.
How dare the club sell Johnson?
Well, for just shy of £6m (and rising to £7.5m) you don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Johnson was (is) an excellent Championship player, but City are in the Premier League. If they are to stay there, then as many players as possible must be of Premier League standard.
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Johnson was facing plenty of competition especially given the acquisition of Youssouf Mulumbu and Graham Dorrans.
Maybe Johnson saw the writing on the wall and decided that being a big fish in a smaller bowl was preferable to watching from the dug-out, or worse.
The one concession I'd make to the 'keep Johnson' argument is whether City will miss his influence in the dressing room. Popularity with fans is one thing, being able to extract something extra from team-mates is another. Alex Neil will know – and don't forget, Alex Neil runs the show.
Chris Lakey - Head of Sport
The reported £6m fee is a lot of money for a 28-year-old – I don't think there can be too much debate around that.
However, it puzzles me why fans revel in the amount of money that's been received for a player. Money in the bank isn't going to come on and change a game for you – Johnson potentially could have. The diagonal ball to Johnson and his aerial prowess was such a feature of Norwich's play in the second half of last season and it's now been lost. It was far too early to say Johnson can't cut it in the Premier League after four matches – he demonstrated last season how his game has improved since the last time he was there with the Canaries.
There is also the sense that Norwich has lost one of its big characters and if City struggle this season then Johnson will be used as a rather large stick with which to beat the club with. I hope I'm wrong.
Mark Armstrong - Deputy Sports Editor