Alex Pritchard injury blow will not force Norwich City’s hand in the transfer market

Alex Pritchard is set for ankle surgery and a long lay-off Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Pritchard is set for ankle surgery and a long lay-off Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Pritchard’s ankle surgery will not force Norwich City into a late transfer dash.

Head coach Daniel Farke is planning to be without the influential midfielder until the end of 2017, after delivering a gloomy bulletin yesterday on the 24-year-old, who has been missing since pre-season.

Steven Naismith is back from suspension for tomorrow’s Championship home opener against Sunderland and with James Maddison and Wes Hoolahan in the mix, Farke insists City have cover.

“To be fair we are always awake and watching the market to figure out if there is a good option but we won’t change our mind in this situation,” said the head coach. “Although he is a key player, an important player, I am really content with the guys we have. It doesn’t help that we have to do without him but not because of this injury will I search for a new guy in this role. We will be awake if there is an option at the end of the window but we don’t have to force it too much.

“As a coach you are always searching for some quality and options. I am no different to any coach. I want the best players in the world. I would like to work here with (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo. Perhaps Bayern Munich will let (Jerome) Boateng go. I am really patient. If there is another good option that fits our personality and our squad then we will think about it. We are really relaxed in this situation.”

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Naismith’s return is a big plus for Farke.

“He was good during pre-season. I was really sad to have to do without him in the first games,” he said. “That was why we had to look at some other players in the last pre-season game against Brighton, because we knew he wasn’t available. We have four games in the next 11 days so we need each and every good player and Steven is in such a good condition and his character is unbelievable. He is a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room.

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“He is important because Alex will be out a minimum of 12 weeks. That is when everything works in a perfect way. So, that means all in all we have to do without him for more than four months. Then when he returns he will need some time back in training. To be honest I don’t count on him until the beginning of the new year.”

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