Michael Bailey: Prepare for shifting sands over City's summer loan plans
Few things in football are as fluid as the loan market - as we are all about to find out at Norwich City over the forthcoming weeks.
From excitement over returning players to those earmarked for some development time away from Carrow Road, Norwich City’s loan business will be as keenly discussed as any this summer – particularly as loaning in and out for EFL clubs can take place until the end of August, more than three weeks after the window for permanent signings in England will be closed.
For those with the talent and now some senior experience, the door will be open back at Colney when City return for pre-season training at the end of this month.
Most keenly, the situation now revolves around a City quartet.
Be it Remi Matthews from Plymouth, a post-Fortuna Sittard Todd Cantwell, Ben Godfrey via Shrewsbury and even Sean Raggett – who had an excellent first half of last term back at Lincoln – all four will have their hopes for the 2018-19 campaign. No doubt those will include plenty of first-team football.
The news Rotherham boss and Norfolk’s own Paul Warne wants both Godfrey and Raggett on loan for next season should be no surprise, given the pair’s reputation and youth.
A season away in the second tier for Raggett – as Timm Klose potentially plays out the final year of his Norfolk stay – would lay down a sizeable foundation beyond the next campaign.
For Godfrey and indeed goalkeeper Matthews, the situation is different – and yet the same.
While both excelled in League One, it’s going to take some fine judgment from City’s coaching staff over the pre-season schedule to figure out how ready they are for Championship football.
It will be the trust of head coach Daniel Farke that decides if the pair look the part – and maybe even kick on beyond the Canaries’ current expectations.
That trust is what took James Maddison from being suggested by some inside City in April 2017 for another loan away – and instead, saw him become such a prized Championship asset.
Cantwell will want to feel such trust too – although his senior experience is a long way short of what Maddison had built up.
But that won’t stop anyone trying – or City’s management keeping their options open.
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