2021/22 Summer Signings Round-Up
I've got a whole array of signings to bring to your attention today but first let me quickly run down the format in which I'm going to order them. Firstly just to make things easier for me as I write, I'm going to list the cheapest to most expensive signings that are English. Then, we'll do the same but with foreign players. Have a read through, and let me know what you think!
So first is Kirk Clayton who is one of two youth players to join for free from Manchester City. It came to my attention that him as well as the next player were set to be released by the citizens and we clearly saw something in them that Pep did not. Kirk is the least promising of the two, but still I like a challenge and will do my best to make something of him.
The player joining in with Clayton is Steve Peet. With fantastic physical and mental attributes for his age I fully believe with hard work on the training ground and some important game time that this guy can definitely make something of himself in the Premier League. For us? I'm sceptical, Kana is an absolutely world class defensive mid and it would take something special to get in ahead of him, but lets see what happens!
The first player to join us for any kind of fee is Elsid Lashley from Fulham. We've a lot of Deep Lying Playmakers at the club, and it wasn't my intention to by another but when I saw he was available for as little as 1.7M I just couldn't say no to guaranteed future profit.
Elsid is a homegrown English international and we all know those are few and far between when it comes to cheap English prospects. He won't be anywhere near the first team yet but he'll be training with us and going out on loan in the future in a bid to impress me and get a chance in the first team.
The most expensive transfer of the season with 21 paid up front with potential clauses to be triggered in the future is English centre back Ezri Konsa. I was worried a lot last season that we were falling short at the back especially when we started playing 3 at the back in some games so I decided to invest in more depth, but also quality.
With O'Connell getting older, it's likely he'll take a back seat to Ezri but still being a fantastic defender I expect Jack to continue making a contribution to the team this season.
Possibly the most exciting transfer of the window? That's right, 18 year old Jude Bellingham is now a Norwich player. Fending off the likes of AC Milan and Man United to his signature, Jude was placed on the transfer list by Birmingham after requesting to leave the club due to lofty ambitions.
When I saw that Jude was available for just 22M I had to make those calls. Realising I've recently begun trialing the mezzala role along with a box to box midfielder (Jude can play both well) it made a lot of sense to bring him in and help out around the centre of the park.
We had only 3 out and out midfelders last year who were all relatively similar in playing style so after changing the tactics up in January we need to shake things up and add something a bit spicier. Jude brings that in abundance.
Jude wraps up our domestic signings, and in comes Mirco Minardi from the sunny med. After Sam Byram left the club for 7M we were in the market for a right back but with no one fitting our style available for the right price it more sense to delve into the loan market and fill the space relatively well until something more permanent becomes available.
Not much to say with this one, he won't play a great deal but who knows how much he'll impress when he does.
Then in came the player with potentially my favourite name ever. Vinko Dude. Not much to be said with this one, I see a lot of potential in the player, he looks solid for his age and for roughly around 1M pounds it was an absolute steal from Dinamo Zagreb I believe it was we took him off.
Vinko will be tagging along with the first team this year and I'm hoping he'll be able to get some game time in Europe as well as the cups!
Three more to bring to you now and THIS is where things begin to get spicy. Adam Hlozek unbelievably still at Sparta Prague 3 years into the game was available for just 15M pounds. We all know how good this guy is, and the transfer needs absolutely no explaining. We were left short on the right side last year so I wanted to bring in a top young talent who could give the big guns a run for their money.
He hasn't developed yet into what we know he can be but in time - A short amount of time - He should be ripping this league apart.
Another striker! I know, it seems like I can't really make my mind up but with Pukki getting old now we only really have Connolly, Diaz and Kutucu. Kutucu hasn't impressed me greatly, Diaz is still an upcoming talent and while Connolly has done well for us in the latter stages of last season he was never brought in to be our out and out star striker.
So with all that being said, in comes our new complete forward Brenner for 16M after we activated his insanely cheap release clause. I can't wait to get this guy out onto the pitch and I really think the league might be in trouble once he finds his feet.
I'm hoping Brenner along with this next signing will automatically set us at a new level.
Last but not least, Raphinha! A player I've been looking at for ages and even watched personally against Montpellier in a 2-2 draw. I can't tell you how long I tried to unsettle this guy for and although he was well up for the move he never seemed to kick off about Rennes rejecting my persistent bids.
Which in theory, I'm actually pleased about. A bit of loyalty clearly doesn't go a miss with Raphinha so that's a good little added on bonus to the brilliant technical ability of the Brazilian winger.
Left footed Raphinha is likely to play on the left flank more often than not but when needed will move to the other side as an inverted winger.
This guy and Brenner linking up is going to be nothing short of deadly.
Todd Cantwell - Wolves - £46M
Ismaila Sarr - Borussia Monchengladhbach - £22.5M
Niclas Eliasson - Al-Sadd - £8.75M
Sam Byram - Southampton - £7M
Teemu Pukki - Newcastle United - £7M
Onel Hernandes - Besiktas - £4.5M
Melvin Sitti - Fulham - 4.5M
Exequiel Zeballos - Augsburg - Ln Fee 120K p/m
So as you can see we've actually had a massive shake up. Todd Cantwell our very own homegrown player has left for just shy of 50M to wolves. Todd was never fantastic for us although he always put in a shift. His 17 goals for us in 110 apps to me just wasn't good enough. So when Wolves came knocking, 46M was more than a good deal.
Ismaila Sarr also leaves now although he was absolutely fantastic since joining for such a small fee, I didn't think he was good enough to be at a top Premier League club. Now I know we aren't there right now but if we continue to think like a small club then a small club we shall remain. 22M was enough.
Then, after that it was really just about making good money from dead wood. None of the other players leaving had a place in my plans and I'm glad to say we profited off the majority of them.
Zeballos has left for Germany where he'll ply his trade for Augsburg. I've been non stop offering him to spanish clubs but no one wants to take the bait so unfortunately, if he's to ever play for Norwich then 5 years in Germany is what he's going to have to do. I'm not sure how this one will pan out just yet.
So, onto the new season!