It promises to be a busy summer transfer window with Chris Hughton likely to working with a sizeable transfer budget. I think it’s been made clear that a proven striker was the number one priority for the summer, but that box has already been ticked with the signature of Ricky van Wolfswinkel secured for next season.
Nevertheless, it would be foolish to assume that the Dutch striker will solve all of Norwich City’s problems. I think most of us would accept that the defence has performed reasonably well over the course of the season. So, the priorities for transfers are likely to come in more attacking positions.
Bradley Johnson and Alex Tettey have both proved to be capable as holding midfielders and Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass and Elliott Bennett have plenty to offer as attacking wingers. I think most of us would agree that a ball playing central midfielder is needed, but also feel that the man is already in the building in the shape of David Fox.
I also think it’s highly likely that Hughton will persist with a system that involves just one main striker. I can’t really see van Wolfswinkel forming a partnership with a Grant Holt or Kei Kamara on any sort of regular basis next season. Also, add into the mix that the Dutch forward is used to playing on his own and would expect that to continue in the Premier League.
Which all means that it’s fairly obvious that the club will be looking for an attacking midfielder to play in the withdrawn role behind our Dutchman. Some may suggest that we already have players like Wes Hoolahan and Jonny Howson that can be utilized there.
But if I were to take one negative thing from our season to work on it’s a chronic lack of goals. That problem is not going to be automatically solved by the addition of a star striker. It’s also important that we are able to provide him with the right kind of service. The sort of player that we are looking for certainly won’t come cheap, and I suspect will have to be from a foreign market.
However, he must add goals and assists to our side to ensure we don’t encounter the same sort of problems that we had this season. I would imagine that Hughton will see this as a priority position, so wouldn’t be totally shocked if we were prepared to part with a similar amount of money as we spent on Ricky van Wolfswinkel, budget permitting.
It will certainly be an exciting summer ahead for Norwich fans, and I suspect that next season we might see some of the best players to have ever graced Carrow Road. As David McNally would tell us, we aspire to be a big club and that means acting like a big club. One of the things they do is add quality to their squad in every transfer window.
Of course, there will be some members of the current squad that will be worried about their future, but that is all part of the ongoing progression of being a top Premier League club. Jonny Howson has generally under-delivered this season, so it will be interesting to see if he remains in Hughton’s plans, but he has improved his form in recent matches.
I’m sure Hoolahan will be here next season, but may have to accept not being a regular starter, especially if Norwich can get the sort of quality they are looking for. There is certainly nothing wrong with adding quality to a squad, and it’s down to the current players to prove they are still good enough. As hinted earlier, interesting times are ahead for this progressing Premier League side.