Norwich City transfer rumours: Dutch winger linked with another Webber reunion
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
He’s a player that sporting director Stuart Webber knows well, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that Dutch winger Ranjiv van La Parra has been swiftly linked with Norwich City after becoming a free agent.
The Daily Mail has claimed the 28-year-old is a target for the Canaries following his departure from Red Star Belgrade, after an unsuccessful stint with the Serbian champions.
Van La Parra - whose half-brother is Liverpool and Holland star Georginio Wijnaldum - joined from Huddersfield last summer in a deal reportedly worth around £1.2million, signing a three-year contract, which was mutually brought to an early end in March as Red Star cut costs.
The report also claims Swansea City lead the Championship clubs interested in the former Holland U21 international, suggesting Blackburn, Millwall and QPR are also tracking his situation.
The Feyenoord youth product initially broke through to senior football in the French top flight with Caen as a youngster but it was with Dutch side Heerenveen where he excelled, with 16 goals and 13 assists in 97 matches.
That caught the attention of Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2014, where current Canaries chief Webber was head of scouting at the time.
He made a strong start to life in England after joining Wolves on a free transfer as well, with his debut being against Norwich, when he was the star of the show as he set up the only goal in a 1-0 win and forced Martin Olsson into receiving a second yellow card after breaking through.
Ten assists and two goals in 42 games during the 2014-15 season was followed by a less successful campaign, during which he spent a brief loan spell at Brighton.
However, in March 2016 he joined Huddersfield on loan - where Webber had taken over as head of football operations at the start of the season.
That bright stint was turned into a permanent deal in the summer and played a key role in the Terriers’ promotion season of 2016-17, with four assists and two goals in 46 games in all competitions.
He also made a strong start to Premier League life, as three goals in 33 games helped David Wagner’s team to survive. However, he slipped to the fringes last season as the Yorkshire side slid back to the Championship, briefly going back on loan to the second tier with Middlesbrough.
VERDICT: Not the first wide player City have been linked with recently, following talk of QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel, but all transfer talk has to be taken with a pinch of salt during football’s suspension.
The Canaries do not yet know which division they will be playing in but Webber has spoken in the past of having lists of targets ready for alternative situations, when City were chasing promotion in 2019.
If van La Parra is available on a free then it’s quite possible he could be seen as a bargain signing to add to a Championship squad, with a good track record at that level and still at a decent age at 29.
Luxembourg winger Danel Sinani is already arriving this summer as something of a project player but with current wide players Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia likely to be in demand at the end of the season regardless of City’s final status, wide areas look likely to be an area of the squad which will need attention.
- You can watch highlights packages from van La Parra’s two successful seasons with Huddersfield in the videos above