Jamal Lewis has left Norwich City and signed a five-year-deal with Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee.
✍️ #NUFC are delighted to announce the signing of Jamal Lewis from Norwich City on a five-year deal!
Welcome, Jamal! 👋
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 8, 2020
It’s always disappointing when a good player leaves Carrow Road and is then seen wearing a new team’s colours but, I suppose, it’s not like this is an unusual event in these parts, is it?
Lewis is the first departure this summer and it comes only a few weeks after Liverpool made a rather paltry offer for him. That offer was reported as being in the region of £8m + £2m in add-ons. The paper talk at the time was that Norwich were holding out for £20m and Liverpool decided to look elsewhere.
I have no doubt that Jamal’s head would’ve been turned by that offer, why wouldn’t it be?
The prospect of joining the Premier League champions and working under a coach like Jurgen Klopp would be a huge incentive for any player, never mind a young lad who has just had his first season in the top flight?
The fact that he probably wouldn’t have played much as he would’ve surely played second fiddle to Andy Robertson seems to have mattered little in all this but I can’t help but think that a move to Newcastle will suit him better, despite the club’s seemingly perpetual state of turmoil. It may well be that this turns out to be a stepping stone to get him to one of the top clubs in the league but in the meantime, he will get to play and he will get to develop all the better for that under experienced coach and former Canary, Steve Bruce, who knows a thing or two about defending.
There’s nothing wrong with a stepping stone move either. Cristiano Ronaldo always dreamed of playing for Real Madrid but knew he needed a move away from Sporting Lisbon before he could attempt a move to the Bernabeu, which is how it turned out.
Meanwhile, Lewis’ wages will have increased significantly and this move should see him made for life – at the age of just 22. The fee is reported at being £15m plus add-ons and a significant sell-on fee.
Jamal has huge potential, although he struggled a little in the Premier League, along with most of his former teammates. His pace, which helped him dominate in the Championship was par for the course among the Premier League’s best attackers and he will hope that Steve Bruce can help him develop defensively to add to his speed. His attacking has always been reasonably good, although he’s prone to checking back rather than driving on when approaching the bye-line, unlike his opposite number on the right flank, Max Aarons, who I consider to be better developed overall, at this point in time.
The loss of Lewis is disappointing but hardly unexpected, with the signings of Sam McCallum and Xavi Quintilla signposting in no uncertain terms that Lewis would be sold this summer.
Norwich have completed all their incoming transfer business, or so it would seem, prior to moving a few out of the club, with Lewis being the first. Josip Drmic, Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner have all been told that they are surplus to requirements and to find themselves new clubs. All three have been omitted from the squad list and are currently without a number.
Other than that though, will we be seeing any of the other first team squad leave?
With just under a month to go in the transfer window, there’s plenty of time for more departures, although speculation has been a little quiet of late. Having said that, this Jamal Lewis thing happened very quickly, so that means nothing.
The Canaries now seem well stocked in the forward positions, with Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell being most likely to be seen as desirable to certain other clubs. At the back, Ben Godfrey looks to be in the same position with the recent addition of Ben Gibson meaning that Daniel Farke now has five senior central defenders. Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, Timm Klose, Gibson and Godfrey are not all going to fit into two positions in Farke’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, although the often vaunted but rarely played three at the back would be a viable option with that many players available.
Max Aarons is a player I would be very disappointed to lose and fingers crossed he can stay, although just like Lewis, a head turning offer from the Premier League, or Paris Saint Germain if recent speculation is to be believed, is only ever a phone call away.
The Athletic’s Michael Bailey has suggested previously that City would look to sell around three players this summer, although if that means we’re talking about Lewis, Drmic, Trybull and Leitner then I wouldn’t mind.
In the meantime, I will be keeping everything crossed in the hope that the rest of the Premier League and PSG look elsewhere for their reinforcements.