Thursday, 3 September 2015

Norwich's transfer nightmare

Tuesday's transfer deadline was pretty bruising experience for Norwich City fans.  While fans of other clubs were left celebrating last minute captures of exciting players, Norwich fans shook their heads sadly and wondered what on earth was going on…

Norwich's transfer business began quite brightly, following promotion to the Premier League via the Play-Off Final at Wembley; the permanent signing of Graham Dorrans (who had been on loan at Carrow Road last season) and the arrivals of Youssouf Mulumbu and Robbie Brady in midfield all showed promise and intent from the club.

But things have since turned very sour indeed.  Having been out a lot of Tuesday, I caught up on how all the Deadline Day news unfolded after the window had closed, and could barely believe what I was seeing.

I have long contended that Norwich have a strong core squad full of decent, hard working players – but that to be competitive in the Premier League the season, we needed to sign one proven striker, and one centre-back to partner Sebastien Bassong.  Dieumerci Mbokani has come in on loan from Dynamo Kiev, and Matt Jarvis has also been brought in (also on loan) from West Ham – but no defenders have arrived, which I feel leaves us shaky and vulnerable at the back, especially against the really top teams of this division.

Add to that the fact that we have let several players leave the club – including Bradley Johnson, who was undoubtedly one of our best players last season, as well as two other central midfielders who could've covered Johnson's position in the wake of his departure to Derby County – I can't see that we're much better off that we were before.

To see a club like Aston Villa sign a proven Premier League quality defender in Joleon Lescott for only £2m, while Charlie Austin – a striker with a fantastic Premier League record from last season – is passed over by every current top flight club, is painful.  Both of those players would've made excellent additions to the Norwich City squad (more so than endless midfielders!), and I'm left wondering why we couldn't make signings of that quality happen while Villa, Stoke City, West Ham and others spend money and add quality to their ranks to ensure they remain established in the Premier League.

This isn't the end of the world, of course – we still have players capable of doing a good job and winning games in the Premier League – but I feel we have left ourselves a much more difficult task than we needed to.  It's poor business from the club, indicative of a lack of ambition, and left me with a sinking feeling after reading through the transfer news after the window had closed.  I don't want to see us in a position where we have to pay well over the odds for mediocre players in the January transfer window, in the hope of salvaging an already floundering season.

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