Monday was a busy day for Norwich City in terms of transfers.
Their final game of the 2019/20 Premier League season is on the horizon, a daunting looking trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City and relegation was confirmed a couple of games ago.
In the meantime there have been transfer links to lots of different players with two looking especially promising. The Polish winger, Przemysław Płacheta is thought to be in Norfolk for a medical and Danish midfielder, Jacob Lunghi Sorensen has been incoming now for what feels like several weeks.
Monday finally saw his arrival confirmed by Norwich as Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber plan ahead for next season.
According to The Athletic’s Michael Bailey there is plenty to get your hopes up about Sorensen.
"He is a clever guy. He will know what to do to get into the team."
Jacob Sorensen. Pedigree. Had the right clubs watching him. Now he gets to prove what he's about at Norwich.
— Michael Bailey (@michaeljbailey) July 20, 2020
Sorensen has experienced highs and lows with his childhood club, Esbjerg and he has been relegated from the Danish top flight, gone straight back up and again and then, this last season, Esbjerg have been relegated again, so he’s in good company. Considering he’s just 22-years-old, he’s already become acquainted with some of the ups and downs of football.
At 6’ tall, he’s not massive by the standards of modern football but he does have some good attributes that Farke will want to work with.
He is good at carrying the ball forward, progressive passing through the lines, tackling opponents, breaking up play in his own penalty area and getting on the end of things at the other end of the pitch. Ball retention is a part of his game that needs work though.
For an initial £700k with more to follow in add-ons, it’s certainly a sensible purchase, no boats being pushed out just yet by Mr Webber. However, if his value underwhelms you and you’ve never heard of him, Michael points out that Tifo Football’s Sensible Transfer series, released last January, identified Sorensen as a good fit for Everton or any lower-table Premier League club, so he has the potential to succeed. If he was the complete player already then he would be costing £30m and out of our reach.
There are aspects of his game to work on and improve and that’s where having a coach like Daniel Farke comes in. It will, inevitably, take some adjustment to move to a new country and also to play in one of the quickest, most hostile leagues in world football, the Championship, so fingers crossed he can get up to speed sooner rather than later.
On the face of it though, he seems a decent young player with room to improve for a knockdown transfer fee. He’s a ball-winning defensive midfielder who can get from one end to the other and back again, just like Alex Tettey, the man who’s boots he looks like having to try to fill.
If his Norwich City career turns out to be anything like the one that Tettey has had then he will have done alright.
In other news, young Scottish goalkeeper, Archie Mair has joined Kings Lynn on a season-long loan deal. Working under Ian Culverhouse will give him a good grounding as he takes his first steps into senior football. With only Tim Krul and Michael McGovern as senior keepers at Norwich now, there has been some speculation as to whether Mair could step up to be a number two, now that McGovern is in the twilight of his career, but that was never going to be the case.
Young Archie needs to build up to that point and a local move under a skilled coach that the club know well is just what he needs at this point, I’d say. Aston Oxborough spent a season on-loan at Wealdstone and will probably be looking for a League One or Two move next season as his progression continues.
Norwich will probably need another keeper in the door but it could be that a loan might be the answer as they wait for one of their youngsters to be sufficiently experienced, assuming Krul stays, of course.
The other move on Monday was the later announcement that Isak Thorvaldsson will spend next season on-loan at St. Mirren. The 19-year-old Icelandic U19 international spent time on-loan with Fleetwood Town last season but will now head to the SPL to test himself in the hurly burly of the Scottish top flight, a path trodden recently by Akin Famewo who appeared on the bench for Norwich for the first time against Burnley.
Youth development is the key for City but it takes time, especially when you’re starting from scratch like they effectively have done over the last three years. Well, not quite from scratch but you know what I mean.