There’s been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media in the last few days, particularly Twitter, on the subject of Norwich City selling Graham Dorrans and Jonny Howson.
The words that really caught my attention were ‘fire sale’, some people think we’re having one, lock stock and barrel while others are a little bit calmer on the subject.
I’m in the second camp.
Since Stuart Webber was appointed as Sporting Director, we have moved on quite a few players, letting seven highly paid players go very soon after he arrived.
Of those seven, John Ruddy was the only one that I would’ve considered keeping but with his high wages, would I have chosen him over Angus Gunn?
I’m not so sure.
The others, Mulumbu, Lafferty, Bennett, Bassong etc are no loss to the squad and will have freed up a huge amount of weekly cash from their salaries.
Then we have the impending sales of the two midfielders, Howson and Dorrans.
At 29 and 30 years old respectively, it’s clear that they are not the future of football at Norwich City. I would keep Howson though and would prefer not to be selling him to a competitor in the form of Middlesbrough but I can see the reasons he’s being sold and the money will come in handy.
As for Dorrans, meh, I’m not fussed either way.
So, of the big name, high earners that have left Carrow Road, I would only keep Howson and Ruddy if money was no object.
Ruddy has already been replaced by an England U21 keeper in the shape of young master Gunn and Dorrans and Howson have already been replaced by Mario Vrancic and today’s new addition, Harrison Reed.
Looking at our midfield now, we have Vrancic, Reed, Louis Thompson and Alex Tettey as central midfielders. Not to mention, Wes Hoolahan, James Maddison and Alex Pritchard as attack minded players. That looks pretty decent to me.
Rob Butler of Radio Norfolk has been tweeting a lot about Jonny Howson in the last 24 hours and getting himself a little worked up in a conversation with old hack, Mick Dennis.
‘A Rolls Royce of a player’ is one of Butler’s favourite sayings about Jonny Howson but I wouldn’t go quite that far.
He was missing far too often in the last Premier League season for my liking and he didn’t influence the game consistently enough for me, last season either.
Yes, he scored THAT volley against Forest and he’s a model pro (so is Russell Martin) but is he really worth £35k a week or whatever he’s on?
Don’t get me wrong, I would keep him and he would be an asset to the squad. However, I can see why he’s going and if he really has declined a new contract offer as reported by the EDP (Butler isn’t so sure), then we’re better off selling him while his value is higher. Keeping unhappy players is largely counter productive.
As I say, our central midfield is currently looking alright to me and the main thing is to not panic – we are not having a fire sale.