Oliver Inwards shares his views on City’s transfer performance over the course of the season…
Now both transfer windows have passed, and we are heading into the final few games of the season, I feel now is a good time to assess all of the transfer signings made by Chris Hughton during the summer of 2012 and January 2013.
We start off with the first signing of the season, one I must admit at the time, was a little underwhelmed by as Steven Whittaker arrived at Carrow Road under a cloud of controversy from the Rangers mess. A free transfer, not one that would stir the crowd into frenzy; however he has proven to be a very shrewd acquisition. Whittaker has been unlucky with injury throughout the season, but when he has played, he has been a very effective full back, whether it is right or left side. He likes to get forward, as shown by his brilliant goal at Swansea, however as displayed recently at Arsenal, he is a very competent defender as well. A definite hit for me, however the injury issues are a concern.
The second signing of the summer was former England Under 21 International Jacob Butterfield from Barnsley. Jacob arrived after a long term injury, and I still feel as if he is feeling his way back from that. A couple of cup appearances aside, we have yet to see Jacob in the yellow and green for real. Some loan spells at Bolton and Crystal Palace have given him some game time, however I feel he needs an extended run of games to find his feet in the game again. The potential is there, and I feel it is too early to judge him yet. One for the future.
Next to enter the flatlands of Norfolk was Robert Snodgrass, from the ever generous Leeds United. I only have four words for Snodgrass. What a left foot. I had my doubts about him, and whether his lack of pace would count against him in the Premier League, but Snodgrass has been a brilliant pickup. By far our most consistent and threatening attacker all season, and one of our hardest working players. He may well win our player of the season award, which tells you all about the season he has had. A monumental hit.
The fourth man to arrive in the summer was Michael Turner from Sunderland. If I had written this article after the Liverpool debacle, he would have been a 100% miss. But what a turnaround. Turner has been immense since then, chipping in with goals, and in 2013 he has arguably been our best centre back. To think Sunderland sold him and kept Titus Bramble. Wow. A hit, after what was a dreadful start.
Now those were the four signings before the first game of the season. These next ones all followed the atrocity that was Fulham away.
Next we decided to dip into the foreign transfer market as Norwich signed Alexander Tettey and Javier Garrido for an undisclosed fee and season long loan respectively. At the time Tettey was something of an enigma, nobody knew too much about him, however he has turned out to be a very shrewd signing. His pace, energy, power in the midfield have seen us through many games. Garrido came in from Lazio on a loan, and after his last stint in the Premier League with Manchester City, we wondered if he still had the ability. He started off very well did Javi, however in recent times his performances have dropped off. Will we sign him on a permanent in the summer? Only time will tell. Tettey goes down as a hit in my book. Garrido I am on the fence about, started off a hit, tailing off to a miss now.
The remaining summer signings were Sebastien Bassong, Mark Bunn and Harry Kane. Bassong has been a masterstroke from Hughton. A player he obviously knew from his Newcastle and Tottenham days, again he has linked up with him here at Norwich. Bassong has been the rock at the heart of our defence. The leader of the defensive unit that has been solid this season, Bassong is a big hit.
Eyebrows were raised when Mark Bunn was signed from Blackburn, as many felt we didn`t require another goalkeeper. However with the unfortunate injury to John Ruddy, Bunn has justified Hughton bringing him in. After a shaky start, Bunn has come on leaps and bounds in 2013. A quality backup, Bunn has actually displayed that he could be a starter in the Premier League. After tough bedding in period, Bunn has proved to be a hit.
Harry Kane. The potential is there, but a case of too early in his career for the step up to the Premier League. Injuries didn`t help. However he goes down a miss.
That concludes the summer of 2012, which in terms of players coming into Norwich City, was most definitely a hit in my eyes. Onto the crucial January transfer window of 2013, one in which Norwich City were unable to secure their main target, Gary Hooper of Celtic.
Brought in were Lee Camp on a free from Nottingham Forest, Kei Kamara from MLS Side Kansas and Luciano Becchio from Leeds. Camp has played twice, one mistake at Wigan cost us a point, but a decent performance against Swansea. Purely a backup, I`m sure Camp is a good GK, but in the limited games he has played, he didn`t do his job, and therefore has to go down a miss.
Becchio and Kamara were brought in to rectify a failing front line, devoid of goals. Now have they helped? Well with only one goal between them, not really. Becchio hasn`t really been given a great chance, but hasn`t impressed in his limited game time. Kamara whilst making an impact doesn`t seem to have the required technical ability at this level. However he has made a good impact on the team. He goes down as a 50/50 for me, whilst Becchio is a miss.
I feel the signings Norwich made in the summer of 2012 were very good ones, and relatively cheap (considering all those were signed for less than Liverpool paid for Joe Allen). However the signings in January 2013 were not very good, and haven`t had a great impact on the team, part of the reason why we are struggling towards the back end of the season I think.
What are your thoughts on the signings the mighty Yellows have made this season?