After just 35 matches, Norwich City have seen their latest return to the Premier League come to an end.
Having scored the least and conceded the most in the English top-flight it’s hardly a surprise that the Canaries will be heading back down to the Championship for a record fifth time.
Despite these damning statistics, Daniel Farke’s young side have gained plaudits in some areas for ‘going down in style’ unlike certain other Premier League teams in the past – we’re looking at you 2007/08 Derby County.
While this will be some comfort to Norwich fans it also means that the Premier League’s big boys are circling like vultures looking to pick off the best talent that the club has to offer.
It has been shown in recent years that there is value for money in buying players from relegated sides. In Liverpool’s squad right now Andy Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri were all signed from teams who had been relegated from the Premier League for relatively low fees.
But who should clubs be looking to swoop for? Well join us as we take a look at which Norwich players might still be playing Premier League football next season and where they might end up.
Playing for the side that has conceded more goals than any other team in the Premier League is hardly a ringing endorsement as a goalkeeper, but it’s testament to how well Tim Krul has performed this season that he has still come out of it rather well.
If not for the experienced Dutchman Norwich could have conceded far more than the 67 goals they’ve let in at time of writing. His penalty saving antics in the FA Cup quarter final against Spurs was also a rare highpoint for Canaries fans.
Krul is not world class by any stretch of the imagination but the former Newcastle and Brighton stopper could offer a cheap option for any side on the hunt for a new goalkeeper.
Southampton are looking for an improvement on Alex McCarthy to provide stiff competition for youngster Angus Gunn. With over 100 Premier League appearances under his belt Tim Krul could be just the man for the job.
Max Aarons –
There used to be a time when the only option England had at right back was Gary Neville. It’s safe to say those dark days are well and truly over as Max Aarons has emerged as latest on a conveyor belt of talent in the position that includes Reece James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 20-year-old had offers to leave Carrow Road last summer but chose to stick it out for another full season of first-team football at Norwich.
Daniel Farke asks a lot from his full-backs particularly in an attacking sense and Aarons has not disappointed in his first season at the top level, picking up two assists.
Tottenham have been heavily linked with the youngster as Jose Mourinho looks to build a squad with the future in mind. A fee of around £20m has been mooted. That much to not have to play Serge Aurier seems like a bargain to us.
The hype surrounding Aarons means that over on the other side of defence Jamal Lewis’ impressive displays have gone slightly under the radar.
His sensational match-winner against Leicester was indicative of how effective he can be in the final third. Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch he has proved more than capable of performing his defensive duties having starred for the Northern Ireland side that so nearly got out of European Championship qualifying group containing Holland and Germany.
His comparatively low-profile would mean that he could be available for a decent price, and at just 22 he is only likely to get better with more Premier League experience.
Watford are going to need a new left-back when Jose Holebas leaves at the end of this season and could be a good destination for Lewis. The Hornets might face competition from Brighton as well who should be looking at bringing in more competition for the 6ft 6” Dan Burn.
Surprisingly for a team with such a poor defensive record many of the players on this list are part of Norwich’s back four. Daniel Farke’s side have been unlucky to be fair with experienced centre halves Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmerman missing most of the season with long-term injuries.
This has seen 22-year-old Ben Godfrey step up to fill the role of being the Canaries main centre half, and on the whole he has done a decent job.
Having originally started as a midfielder he is very adept on the ball and could thrive in a side that aren’t as frequently exposed on the counter as Norwich have been this season.
Leicester City have made some shrewd signings from relegated clubs in the past having signed Harry Maguire from Hull in 2017. With European football in the offing next season they may want to bring a player who could provide strong competition for Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans.
With the boyband hair and celebratory dances to match Todd Cantwell could easily be a laughingstock amongst Premier League fans on social media. The reason he isn’t though is because he’s actually got the quality to back it up.
Having found the net six times and added an extra two assists Cantwell has been involved in nearly a third of Norwich’s goals this season. That’s an incredible attacking output from a 22-year-old in his first season in the Premier League.
There are plenty of teams that would be interested in signing a player who can carry that level of goal threat, but given the relatively free role Daniel Farke has granted the midfielder it’s difficult to see where he would thrive most.
West Ham seem like the kind of club where a maverick talent of Cantwell’s nature would be best appreciated, and with Mark Noble barking at him on the pitch it’s possible that we could really see the best of the England under-21 international at the London Stadium.
If you look at the top of the chances created list in the Premier League you would be unsurprised to Kevin De Bruyne way out in front with 108. Scroll just two places to third though and you may raise an eyebrow at seeing the name of Emiliano Buendia.
It’s a testament to how poor Norwich’s forwards have been by and large this season that Buendia only has seven assists despite have generated 79 opportunities for his teammates.
The Argentinian is one of the players on this list who seems to have the genuine potential to fit in at the top level of the Premier League. With better strikers to finish off the chances he creates the 23-year-old could legitimately become one of the division’s top playmakers.
He’s a player that Arsenal should be looking at if they plan to move on from Mesut Ozil this summer. Having starred in Farke’s high-pressing system Buendia could offer the work-rate that the German lacks, and when combined with the deadly finishing ability of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang he could be an absolute bargain for the Gunners.
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