Date: 9th July 2019 at 7:03am
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Norwich City served up another double whammy yesterday when they announced the signing of Charlie Gilmour and that Emi Buendía has signed a new five-year contract.

This has been a familiar theme over the summer and I think that not only is it absolutely the right way for us, as a club, to go but on a personal note, I’m loving it.

Those players that have already made the first team squad and who played crucial parts in the club’s promotion have been and still are, being given new and improved contracts.

I understand that wage increases are significant. They’re going to need to be though, to reward the players properly and to keep them out of the clutches of some of the Premier League’s big beasts.

Realistically, I think we’re a year away from having the thorny problem of massive bids for some of our squad from those big beasts.

The young lads, Lewis, Godfrey and Aarons are highly likely to be regular starters over the coming season and assuming that they progress as most of us expect them to, then what will they be worth in a year’s time?

Crystal Palace have just sold right-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka for an eye-watering £45m+, after just one decent year in the Premier League. He’s English and that vastly inflates the price.

Tyrone Mings joined Bournemouth from Ipswich in 2015 for £8m, which was a lot of money then. Since then, mostly due to injury, he has managed just 17 appearances for the Cherries. He spent the second half of last season on-loan at Villa and he’s just been sold to the Villains for a reported £25 odd million. He’s 26 and made 15 appearances for Villa.

That’s 32 games he’s played in four years.

Emi Buendía is only 22 and although he’s not English, he’s another one who is ripe to explode onto the Premier League scene. With his touch, vision, flair and sheer chutzpah, imagine what he’s going to be worth if he does what we all think he’s going to do?

I know I’m banging on about money a lot here but regardless of whether Norwich stay up or not, the club is going to be in a very healthy place, whatever happens over the course of the upcoming season.

That’s a refreshing place to be after recent seasons of overspending in a (failed) attempt to become a stable top-flight club.

So, what happens in a year’s time if a Manchester City or a Liverpool come knocking for an established first team player, like, say, Max Aarons?

Well first of all, the fee City will ask is going to be astronomical but that won’t put off those clubs. Wan-Bissaka is the precedent now, remember.

Stuart Webber and the Recruitment Team are working quietly behind the scenes to bring in a number of high quality young players for the U23s.

Charlie Gilmour is the latest and as a defensive midfielder, I wonder if he’s been signed with one eye on him being a long-term replacement for Alex Tettey?

Young Charlie follows hot on the heels of the signing of Aidan Fitzpatrick last week and will join the likes of Archie Mair, Rocky Bushiri, Rob Nizet and Daniel Adshead who have all been recruited this summer.

Promising lads, one and all.

It’s clear that Stuart Webber’s succession plan to make City a self-funding club is gathering pace. The idea is that when you sell a top player that you have a ready-made replacement in the club and he’s ready to step-up.

Not all of these lads are likely to become superstars, I hope they will, obviously but football is a funny old game and there are few certainties outside signing Messi or Ronaldo.

Another young player who has just signed a new long-term deal is Adam Idah, who looks to have the world at his feet. He’s scored goals for fun at Academy level and for the Irish U21s and he will start pre-season with the first team squad. It’s good for everyone involved with the club for youngsters to break into the first team and it shows those promising young lads that there is a clear pathway from the U23s to the first team.

All in all, this silly season is turning into something more akin to a savvy season for Norwich City and that gives me a warm glow inside. It just feels like everything is being run properly, you know what I mean?

I wonder how many other fans of other clubs must be looking at all this with more than a tinge of jealousy?


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