Date: 3rd July 2018 at 7:48am
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The announcement of the signing of Felix Passlack by Norwich City, on Monday teatime was another under cover signing and the club’s third new recruit in three days.

Passlack looks as though he is a very good player and it’s nice to see Daniel Farke using his Dortmund connections again to get a highly rated young talent in through the Colney door.

Passlack is quick and he’s competent on either flank, although predominantly a right back or right wing back, his signing tells me that Ivo Pinto’s days as first choice are numbered.

The reason I think that, is that last summer, after signing a new deal with Borussia Dortmund, Passlack was loaned to Hoffenheim for two years. That length of loan deal is very common on the continent, although not so much over here in England. Interestingly, the loan was terminated by “mutual agreement” on 30th June.

Dortmund will have only loaned him to Hoffenheim with a view to him playing regularly. You don’t get a player from a big club and sit them on the bench, especially if you’re a Championship club. Angus Gunn would’ve been swiftly recalled by Manchester City if he’d been behind Michael McGovern in the pecking order, last season.

More proof of this comes from Dortmund’s official site and the announcement of the deal being done.

“The objective is for the 20-year-old, who will be under the tutelage of former BVB U23 coach Daniel Farke in Norfolk, to get as much playing time as possible.

Passlack’s previous loan agreement with TSG Hoffenheim, which was initially set at two years, was prematurely dissolved by mutual consent on 30 June 2018. The young full-back remains under contract at Borussia Dortmund until 2021.”

That says to me that the lad has been loaned to us and that he must play regularly. If he’s good enough there’s no problem with that, I’d say. In terms of what it means for Ivo Pinto, well, if I were him I might be anxiously looking over my shoulder.

I’m not the greatest fan of Ivo. His pace gets him into and out of trouble and he relies on it a lot. His defending and positioning in particular hasn’t always been the best, his crossing/end product isn’t great and I consider him a bit of a weak link. If Farke decides to go with a back three, Passlack will be a perfect fit on the right.

Passlack played 14 times and scored 2 goals for Hoffenheim last season, as they finished in third spot in the Bundesliga. For some reason, my lad follows Hoffenheim’s fortunes and he tells me that Felix wasn’t a regular, which is exactly what Dortmund want for their player to develop.

As ever, there is no point in signing players that aren’t better than you’ve already got, so by that rationale, we should now have a better right back than we had last season and that could be a big issue for Pinto.

Assuming he’s staying of course…


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