The Tuckster looks at this summer’s recruitment
I don’t know about you but since the opening of the transfer window, things to do with Norwich City have been a bit like a dream – if you’re a City supporter.
Chris Hughton was hired by David McNally with a first instruction of ‘Keep us in the league.’
At times last season, the football was tough to watch, and that’s being kind. Remember the home games against Fulham, Newcastle and Southampton? Very tough to watch.
But, CH kept us in the league, and although it seemed a bit tight towards the end we ended up in eleventh place so the job was done.
I cast my mind back to our promotion to the PL and comments made by the board that all available funds would be made available for team strengthening and looking at things now, they have been true to their word.
Two seasons in the PL have put City in the enviable position of being debt free and due to a huge new TV deal they have money to spend and aren’t they doing that!?
The announcement of the signing of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel for £8.5m in March was a signal of the Club’s intent and ambition.
None of us fans, I imagine, could have predicted this and the new direction.
For years, we have been starved of signing ‘top players’ for big fees and salaries. But suddenly, here we are, competing with our rivals.
This is like a dream really, but the best thing about it all is that so far, the business that’s been done is very sensible as well as being very exciting.
The signing of Nathan Redmond for a rumoured £2m rising to £3m with add ons seems a very good one.
Redmond is just 19 and has so much potential it’s ridiculous – if he continues to progress as he has done, a full International call up is a real possibility in a year or two.
Martin Olsson is another very good addition – a proven full International left back and only 25 years old for just £2m. This looks terrific business and don’t think he will be a back up for Garrido. He will push Javier all the way for the starting place against Everton.
Carlo Nash was a required signing and his experience will be valuable, even if he never plays.
But the signing that excites me the most, apart from RVW, is that of his compatriot, Leroy Fer.
Fer was the subject of a failed £8m bid from Everton in January 2013 – a medical spoilt the move, although Everton still wanted him and offered to take him for £2m less and to pay in installments.
The message from his club, FC Twente was ‘On your bike!’
Fer went about his business and kept on producing epic midfield performances for his club as well as the U21 Dutch side.
We have signed a superb, box to box, goalscoring midfield powerhouse who we bought for around £5m at the age of just 23 – fantastic business.
So we have signed great players that will take us to the next level and not broken the bank. How did we do that?
A mate of mine is a Fulham fan and knows all about David McNally because he used to be the Fulham Chief Exec.
My mate told me that McNally did exactly the same thing with Fulham as he is doing with us. Having stablised the club in the Premier League, he went quietly about the business of giving his manager money to spend on ‘next level’ players and it worked for them.
So, of the very good signings we have made so far, most of them are young with terrific prospects and good re-sale value, which is no mean feat.
We are still looking to recruit, McNally loves twitter and his answers are often cryptic and laced with a fun edge.
When asked after the Leroy Fer signing whether City were finished in the transfer market or far from it, he replied ‘Far from it!’
Bids have been made for Alderweireld and Toivonon at £7m and £4.7m respectively and it seems we have also just bid ?10m for Fabio Quagliarella.
You can’t sign every player that you want or even have a bid accepted for. But it is clear that this summer is an exciting time to be a City fan.
The national press have heaped praise on the way that City are going about things and as I said, as a big Norwich fan it has seemed like a dream at times to me.
The one thing I do know is that CH and McNally are setting about assembling the most exciting Norwich City team for a long time – perhaps ever.
It’s also worth noting that on the day we bid for Quagliarella, our friends down the A140 were linked with a move for Titus Shambles who’s contract has run down at Sunderland.
How times have changed…