Who should get the keys to number 10 at Norwich City?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Wes Hoolahan departed Carrow Road on the final afternoon of the Championship season clutching the player-of-the-season trophy.
But the Republic of Ireland international knows he now faces a serious challenge to his crown as the club's creator-in-chief.
Alex Pritchard edged Hoolahan out of a starting spot for the majority of the final 10 games under interim chief Alan Irvine. The young midfielder has the balance and awareness, the range of passing and creative potential to be an essential ingredient in Norwich City's new way forward.
Hoolahan is not quite ready to be swept away in a changing of the guard, with James Maddison another alternative to Pritchard who possesses the same rich talent.
'Alex has done brilliantly, he has really blossomed in that role,' said the Dubliner, speaking in the aftermath of City's 4-0 final day romp over QPR. 'I know I'm coming on in my age but I have a hunger to do well. I'm not going to say, 'you can have my place in the team'. I'm obviously going to work hard and he will work hard as well.
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'Like anybody on the team, we want to work hard to move on together and win games. If it is a little part or a big part, I am more than happy. And his young legs drive me on. There's James Maddison coming through as well. James has got real quality, which you see in training every day and to have those two number 10s in our squad is brilliant.'
Add Steven Naismith to the mix and Norwich's prospective new head coach has a major dilemma. Naismith can operate in that central link role and possesses the quality to hurt Championship defences within the right set-up.
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It's a welome conundrum, given sporting director Stuart Webber must focus his recruitment drive on other areas of the existing squad. But on the basis all four are still here when the summer transfer window closes, who do you want to unlock Norwich's attacking potential?
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