Ben Knapper has unveiled his Norwich City recruitment masterplan as he bids to lower the age group of the squad. 

City's sporting director spoke to external media for the first time on Wednesday morning with recruitment at the centre of the conversation. 

Norwich opted to head in a different direction last summer, signing more experienced and older players at David Wagner's request. Work has begun to lower that - with Knapper allowing Adam Forshaw to depart last month. 

Sydney van Hooijdonk was brought in from Bologna whilst Adam Idah joined Celtic on loan. Przemyslaw Placheta also departed to join Championship rivals Swansea on a permanent deal, with his contract up in the summer.

Here is what he had to say on the key topics around recruitment, from the recent January window to preparation for the summer. 

January reflections

"Typically, you'd work many months in advance, and it's never easy coming in on the dawn of a window, but I was able to influence and start to look at some things that I want to do with the team in terms of some strategic intentions.

"All of that is through the lens of knowing the challenges inherently with the January market. It is typically a market that is generally geared around instant impact, patching up holes or trying to achieve targets. That is important for us but I was interested in whether there were opportunities for us to shape the group with the more medium to long-term in mind.

"We have started to do that with the business that we did and that will help prepare the ground for us. It will take multiple windows to shape the group in the way that I would like to, but the work we have done in January has paved the way for that."

The Pink Un: Sydney van Hooijdonk joined Norwich City from Bologna in January.Sydney van Hooijdonk joined Norwich City from Bologna in January. (Image: Daniel Hanbury/Focus Images Ltd)

van Hooijdonk & Idah deals:

"It was something that we'd been discussing for a while. Adam is someone that we know is super talented, but he was hungry to experience something different and test himself in a different context.

"That is a valuable experience for a player to go through. He hasn't been on loan before and this is the only environment that he has known, certainly since he's been a professional.

"That was something we had in our mind, if there was the right environment for Adam to test him and help us learn more about him, that was something we were always going to be open to.

"In Sydney, it was a fantastic opportunity for us to do something on the way in. He is a really interesting player that we've followed for a long time.

"He represents a lot of what we are trying to do with this group - he has a great age profile, has some real pedigree through scoring a lot of goals in Holland and has had a lot of experiences under his belt for someone who is 24.

"He has the potential to take the next step and profiles very well for this league. We're excited to work him for the coming months and potentially beyond.

"With both of those cases, there are real upsides for us."

The Pink Un: Norwich City used the South American market to sign Gabby Sara and Marcelino Nunez.Norwich City used the South American market to sign Gabby Sara and Marcelino Nunez. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Presence in the South American market:

"The club has done fantastic work in setting up a presence in the South American market. We have people on the ground there who are well-connected and plugged into that network.

"It is an absolute hotbed of talent; everyone knows that so why wouldn't we? It is somewhere that is really interesting for us and it is somewhere the club has had success with previously and will continue to look.

"We're not one-dimensional, and it's not that we're only looking there, but it's absolutely a key market that we'd be foolish to say that we're not interested in that anymore. There are great players out there, value to be had, and there are real opportunities.

"It is somewhere we will continue to focus and build on the good work that has already taken place." 

The Pink Un: Ben Knapper has been outlining his Norwich City plans in an interview with local media on Wednesday.Ben Knapper has been outlining his Norwich City plans in an interview with local media on Wednesday. (Image: Adam Harvey/Newsquest)

Plans for the upcoming summer window: 

"The summer is naturally the window where you are more able to do more. There is more opportunity and the market is typically a little bit easier to navigate.

"Trying to find value is generally easier as well. We know that we have players out of contract and there is going to be some turnover in the summer and we want to continue with some of the strategic directions that I would like to take the group in.

"We're working hard to build a plan and we will be going into that window with the goal of continuing what we have started."