Norwich City must deal with the great con at the heart of the transfer window.
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There is a depressing cycle that applies to Norwich City as it does every other club in the land in the closing hours of the transfer window.
Simply put, it is nigh on impossible to sate the frenzied excitement and sense of anticipation among large sections of a support base, fanned by social media and a certain television station, which appears to have annexed deadline day twice a year from the football calendar.
Each passing minute that ticks towards the 11pm deadline induces a heady cocktail, fuelled by every erroneous sighting, rumour and hashtag. There even appears a sub-culture now of bogus parody accounts on social media to prey on those needing a fix. The Irish state broadcaster, RTE, was swept up in such a surge on Sunday evening when they pronounced Norwich City’s Republic of Ireland international Robbie Brady had sealed a move to Premier League Burnley. Such confirmation appears to have eluded both clubs’ official communication channels. Brady may indeed make the switch to Burnley in the hours ahead, should Norwich complete a proposed loan move for Mitchell Dijks, but the thirst to be first with the unverified news appears almost insatiable.
It is football clubs who feel the backwash. Norwich in that regard is not immune. Many a deadline night has passed minus the stellar, multi-million pound signing. The nasty by-product is to turn all that expectation into frustration and perhaps even anger towards the club’s top brass or the manager or the recruitment team or the overall strategy. It is a blame culture where all that pent-up oxygen needs a release. The brutal reality is City simply do no have the finance to perform radical surgery on Alex Neil’s squad. Setting aside the fact whether the Scot himself feels such a turnover is necessary, allied to the restrictive nature of a one-month trading window condensed seemingly into the final day or two.
Neil has been honest and open in his desire to embellish what he has. Martin Olsson’s departure to Swansea City allows the Canaries the relative luxury of not having to offload any more of their talent to balance the books. But in order to bring in fresh blood they must deal again. That simple maxim dictates City’s transfer strategy in these closing hours. It is why a potential loan move for Dijks makes sense on many levels. Neil can not pick or chose which of his roster attracts interest. Brady was his signature signing of the summer 2015 window. He has played practically every game when he is fit and available. Neil speaks often about his quality and versatility. Brady is a prized commodity and if the Scot wants to refresh then he must reluctantly consider life after Robbie. Sergi Canos is wanted by Brentford but the Bees appear to require funds from Scott Hogan’s protracted departure. Neil called it right recently. It’s the domino effect gripping football. Strap yourself in for a gentle ride on Tuesday, rather than a bumpy one.