After Norwich City confirmed their first signing of the summer, Adam Harvey sat down with Bulgarian football expert Kai E. Iliev for the inside track on Jose Cordoba.

What sort of environment was Cordoba playing in at Levski Sofia last season?

It hasn't been a great season by Levski's standards, because they're usually part of the top three and they kind of fell out of it,  mostly because of board problems. There's been player protest there have been ultras being banned, so by Levski's standards it's not a great season.

Of course in the Bulgarian table they're doing fine, but their financial problems are really ramping up right now and the relationship between the president and the fans is quite terrible.

How highly is he rated in Bulgaria?

I would say by far he's the best defender we have, at least this season. Firstly because he was not expected, because before coming to Levski he was also at Etar, who are in the second division.

The first months were maybe a bit shaky, but then he adapted really quickly, so at least from my perspective he's by far the best defender. He actually received an award for the best defender in the league a few months ago.

What sort of profile is he bringing to Carrow Road?

He's a very aggressive defender, he's someone who leads with his interceptions and likes to anticipate the game. He likes to push higher up the pitch and he's definitely not afraid of challenges.

If Norwich are looking for a young defender who's really into being proactive I think that's the profile, because in terms of interceptions he's really good at winning the ball. That's definitely his strength, but defensively he's patient as well.

He's very comfortable with the ball. Sometimes he's too comfortable with the ball, but again he's only 22 so I'm not really surprised about the negatives.

I think he still sometimes gives too many fouls away and for Sophia that was a problem. They faced a lot of free-kicks from dangerous areas as a result of fouls he gave away, and he got a few yellow cards as well.

How easy will adaptation from the Bulgarian league to the Championship be?

I think it's really hard to say, because adaptation is really hard to predict. Going from the Bulgarian League to the Championship, that's a big step to do. So it's really hard to say.

Unfortunately in Bulgaria the level of our attackers is very low, and of course when you go to the championship the attackers are more physical on average. You don't have as much room for mistakes either.

The Pink Un: Sporting director Ben Knapper will hope Cordoba can adapt to English football quicklySporting director Ben Knapper will hope Cordoba can adapt to English football quickly (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Cordoba is also a very physical player so to say how much he adapts I don't know. He definitely needs time,  that's for sure, but I do think he has the tools.

How quickly he adapts to his new role and gets used to another culture and team-mates is a different question. At Levski Sofia he mostly played as a wide centre-back in a back three, so it might be slightly different depending on how Norwich build up under Johannes Hoff Thorup.

I think at the end of the day that he will be able to adapt, it's just about how long it takes.

Is it also true that Cordoba can play at left-back?

I guess he can, yes, but I don't think that's a very good role for him. He likes to step out a lot, so unless you really have a centre-back next to him who can hold back you're going to have trouble with him going up the pitch as a left-back.

So that's something to watch out for, but he can play there, yeah.

Was there any surprise for you that he ended up at Norwich, given the clubs that were interested in him?

I admit I was surprised, because from on paper I think that Rangers makes more sense for him from a personal development point of view. Rangers and the Scottish League as a whole would have been the perfect stepping stone.

The difference between this Bulgarian league and the Scottish league is high, but I think the Championship is even higher, so for personal development it might be a very big step for him.

I'm not sure how he's going to deal with it, but at the same time uh he did also jump from the second to the first Bulgarian league quickly as well, so there's that.