Norwich City might have dropped out of the Premier League without so much as a whimper at the weekend. Relegation threatened West Ham plunged the final nail in their coffin. Yet despite their failings this season, their squad actually has a serious amount of talent in it.
With that in mind, the Canaries could find their team decimated ahead of the next campaign. Here we look at the players who could move on.
Early on in the season, Pukki was the embodiment of Norwich’s hope. He was in fine scoring form and bagged six goals in the opening five games including goals against Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City in addition to a hat-trick against Newcastle.
By the turn of the year, the Finnish striker had nine goals to his name but a paltry return of just two goals in 2020 hasn’t helped Norwich woes. That said, he’s proven he can score at the top level and goals are hard to come by for many.
It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if someone makes a move. Pukki is dispossessed only once per match, according to WhoScored and averages 2.4 shots on target for the Canaries each game.
You can imagine that he would probably be more threatening if he partnered with someone who could boost his skills. We imagine he could be the perfect fit for Southampton or even for Wolves as a backup option for Raul Jimenez.
Here’s a confusing one. Cantwell regularly oozes class on the ball and rarely gives possession up with an 82% pass success rate. With an involvement in eight goals – scoring six – he’s certainly one of their most influential players but, for some reason, Daniel Farke isn’t shy of either benching or subbing him.
He’s played an average of just over an hour per game. It will be a small miracle if the Norfolk born 22-year-old is still in yellow come next season with several Premier League sides – including Liverpool – linked. Cantwell would fit easily in any EPL side and could be an interesting low-cost signing for Dean Wilder’s Sheffield United.
Like his fellow midfielder Cantwell, Buendia has earned a lot of plaudits during the season. He too has a pass completion of around 80% with his preference to play forwards one of the things that make him standout. He hasn’t found the net as regularly as perhaps he should but seven assists in a poor team is nothing to be sneered at.
The Argentinian started his career with Real Madrid, which is enough to show he has some decent technical ability and whilst we suspect he won’t quite hit those heights again, an extended stay in the Premier League looks likely.
Leeds United, who look destined to win promotion, reportedly are very keen on signing him. Bielsa would likely be cheering as the fellow Argentinian manager enjoys possession-based football (Leeds average 63.67% per game this season, more than any team in the Championship).
Is Max Aarons the finished article? No. He has bags of potential though and someone is bound to want to help develop him. Tottenham have long been monitoring but an attack minded full back whose weakness is in the defensive phase of the game doesn’t sound like a Jose Mourinho type signing.
That said, he is exciting when his team is in possession and that’s an area the Special One might have to look at given the demands of Spurs’ fan base. If those reports are wide of the mark, then other clubs are bound to be sniffing around too with West Ham recently muted.
Either way, if Aarons does move on it will be a big hole for Norwich to fill given, he’s hardly missed a game since making his debut last season.
Norwich might have slapped a £50m price tag on their young centre backs head but they’ll be very lucky to receive such a fee even with his high potential. Defensively, he has plenty of room to develop but his strengths are evident with the way in which he brings the ball out from the back. A skill that is a must for most coaches in today’s game.
German duo Leipzig and Dortmund have been watching him for a while and, if paper talk can be believed, then interest might come from North London too with both Arsenal and Spurs keeping tabs. The only question looming now is how much someone has to pay. I’ll wager that it won’t be close to £50m.
There you have it, five players that could leave Norwich in the upcoming window. If they do all move on, then it’s fair to say Norwich might struggle to come back to the Premier League immediately.
The odds of Farke’s men making an immediate return to the promised land will drift somewhat. It probably as likely to see Norwich in the Premier League in 2021/22, as to see the Miami Dolphins making a run to the Superbowl 2021 in the NFL odds by BetAmerica. Let’s hope the Canaries can bounce back!