Championship rivals should be jealous of City’s Gibson swoop

Ben Gibson is a statement signing for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ben Gibson is a statement signing for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke insists every club in the Championship would have wanted Ben Gibson.

City beat off stiff competition, which reportedly included late interest from Premier League new boys Fulham, to sign the centre back on a season long loan from Burnley.

Gibson was a player the Canaries had tracked all summer, and Norwich have also negotiated an option to buy a defender who joined the Clarets for £15m should they seal promotion this campaign.

“If he is available in the market then each and every club at our level has to think about him and try to get him,” said Farke, on the 27-year-old who was touted as one of England’s best central defensive prospects when he broke through at hometown club Middlesbrough. “I am pretty pleased we are able to sign Ben.

“There are many things to like. Top experience on this level, great age, homegrown and a left-footed centre back. Our first one in the squad and he fits with the perfect way we want to do things.

“Brilliant lad, brilliant character and he wants to work for this club.

“Big compliments to Stuart (Webber) we can bring in a lad of his potential. What more can I say? Ben Gibson is a top character and a top player.”

Gibson is now the fifth senior centre back on the books, to underline Farke wants no repeat of the shortfalls that blighted the club’s Premier League quest.

“Before bringing in Ben we had the same group of centre backs as last season and only in two game days did we have more than two available,” he said. “That was definitely a problem. Now we head into a season with more game days, 46, than last season, with cups, and a short pre-season and we have to play them all in eight months.

“The schedule will be even more intense and we struggled last season. On this level it makes sense.

“It is quite important to be prepared and if there is an opportunity to explore it.

“We are constantly aware of all areas in the market, be it full backs, strikers, midfielders or central defenders.

“What I would say is we have to be a bit careful not to put too much competitive load on his shoulders. His last game was in January 2019. He was not training with Burnley.

“We have to wait a bit for him to be physically at his best, but it was quite important to have him.”

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