It is safe to say that Norwich manager Chris Hughton and club Chief Executive David McNally are giving the footballing world a master class in how to do good business by making some incredibly clever signings this summer.
So far, Norwich have spent a record breaking £25 million, a figure many Norwich fans never thought they would see in one transfer window. So who are these super seven and what can be expected of them?
The only place to start is with record signing 24-year-old Dutchman Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Previous interest came from Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle – he was a wanted man! At £8.5 million, he has blown every other signing in Norwich’s history out of the water.
There is no doubt he is a motivated and talented player and Norwich really have got him at a bargain price. van Wolfswinkel has a powerful strike and in a couple of pre-season friendlies the fans were treated to some great shots, and also notable was great movement and the ability to get into the right place.
Striker number two of the transfer window came to Norwich, after a battle with Harry Redknapp at QPR, in the form of 25-year-old Gary Hooper. Hooper has had three incredibly successful seasons at Celtic but the Scottish Premier League cannot be compared to the English Premier League and this is one of the reasons that I have my doubts.
However, his move is mutually beneficial as the more he scores for Norwich and the more Norwich continue to improve, the more likely it is that he does get a look in for the England squad, something Hooper has made clear he wants to be a part of. Hooper’s style is completely different to that of van Wolfswinkel as he is more of a poacher and a finisher.
During the 2012/2013 season van Wolfswinkel and Hooper scored 46 goals between them. Huge expectations fall on the shoulders of these two but, if they are given the right service, they will undoubtedly push themselves to score goal after goal for Norwich in this season’s Premier League campaign.
Next up is the second Dutch player for Norwich: Leroy Fer. The 23-year-old central midfielder received interest from Everton in January, but he has been snapped up by the Canaries from FC Twente at another bargain price of £4.5 million. This talented young man truly excites me and he is certainly one to watch.
Already dubbed by some as potentially being the new Michu, he is a big unit and has a huge presence on the field, yet is also agile and has skills a plenty. A versatile player that has strength to defend, similarly to Norwich’s Bradley Johnson, but also speed to push forward and threaten for goals.
Another exciting signing is Martin Olsson, the 25-year-old Swedish international from Blackburn Rovers. Although he has more often than not started as a left-back, he can actually play anywhere on the left which brings great flexibility to the squad. Another big presence on the field, he isn’t afraid to get stuck in defensively but can also help the team push forward with speed on the counter attack.
The oldest signing, 39-year-old goalkeeper Carlo Nash has gone to Norwich on a free from Stoke. Some may question this transfer because of his age, but I think it is a wise move. Having only two decent ‘keepers is not enough and someone of his experience as third ‘keeper is clever.
Norwich have also permanently signed 28-year-old left-back Javier Garrido after his loan spell from Lazio last season. A regular starter for Norwich last year, he proved to be a valuable member of the team.
However, this year he faces competition from the previously mentioned Olsson, but competition is only going to bring out the best in players and push them to further themselves. Although Garrido is not as boisterous as Olsson, he is no push over and what he may lack there he makes up from superbly passed and crossed long balls.
I have saved the youngest signing till last, but last certainly does not mean least. Nathan Redmond is only 19 but what he may lack in experience, he certainly makes up for in drive and enthusiasm.
Redmond has left Birmingham and rejoined Hughton who gave him his debut. An England U21’s winger, he is fast, something that will prove key on the counter-attack, and accurate, and from what I have already seen, he will certainly be running rings around numerous defenders.
He is not afraid to take a chance and have a shot, and he can whip in a ball towards the goal or the box with great power. The only worry with Redmond is that he may need to learn to pass the ball a bit more but this is something that comes with age and practice so no real fear. For me, a really special player that will only get better and better over time.