Canaries confirm permanent deal for 'delighted' title winner Gibson

Ben Gibson signs a permanent contract at Norwich City.

Ben Gibson has completed his permanent Norwich City transfer from Burnley - Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher

Norwich City have confirmed the expected permanent purchase of Ben Gibson from Burnley, after a season-long loan proved to be a 'dream move' for the defender.

The former Middlesbrough centre-back was signed with a view to a permanent switch being completed if promotion was earned.

That plan has worked out nicely, with the 28-year-old playing a crucial role in Daniel Farke’s team winning the Championship title.

He joins for an undisclosed fee, which is believed to be around £8million, and has signed a contract until 2024.

“I am absolutely delighted,” said Gibson. “What we achieved last season was remarkable.

“It couldn’t have gone any better - bar the injury for me - for the team and the squad. We had clear goals, we set out to achieve them and we fulfilled them in every way.

“We didn’t just get promoted, we were champions and we had a (club) record points total. So, it has literally been a dream move.”

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Gibson made 29 appearances in all competitions swiftly replacing Ben Godfrey on the left side of central defence after the youngster’s big-money sale to Everton and forming a well-balanced partnership with skipper Grant Hanley. 

A calf injury kept him out for four games in December, but he swiftly resumed his influential role, setting the passing tempo and stepping out of the back line to start building attacks. 

His campaign did come to an end eight games early though, turning his ankle during the 1-1 home draw with Blackburn in March and needing ligament surgery. 

With Christoph Zimmermann also struggling for fitness, that saw 18-year-old Andrew Omobamidele step into the breach and impress as the Canaries sealed promotion and the title, with Gibson on the fringes of the partying on crutches.

Ben Gibson of Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham
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Ben Gibson has joined Norwich City permanently from Burnley - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

He has posted regular updates on social media showing his rehabilitation progressing well during the last two months and appears on course to return fully during pre-season. 

The former England Under-21 international played a key role in Boro’s promotion in 2016 and was an ever-present in the Premier League the following season, often wearing the captain's armband as well.

Although he couldn’t prevent relegation his form did earn senior England call-ups and he was on the bench for two World Cup qualifiers and a friendly but didn’t get to make his international debut. 

Gibson stuck with Boro initially but after defeat in the play-offs in 2018 he joined Burnley for around £15million but made just six appearances thanks to an early injury problem. 

He fell out of favour with manager Sean Dyche and was left out in the cold, even coming close to a loan move to the USA with MLS side LA Galaxy in January 2020, as Burnley wouldn’t entertain a switch to Watford – who were top-flight rivals at the time. 

Thankfully for Norwich, a prolonged pursuit of the classy centre-back eventually paid off and Gibson is seen as a big part of Farke’s plans for the new season. 

On the Premier League challenge, speaking to City's official website, he added: “It is where everyone wants to be. It is where I have been for different chapters in my career.

“We can’t wait to have another crack at it.”

City report card: Gibson was the Championship’s pass master

Gibson's permanent contract is confirmed alongside fellow loanee Dimitris Giannoulis, following on from the signings of Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica and Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn last week.

Hanley, Zimmermann, Gibson and Omobamidele are expected to be joined by another front-line signing this summer, with Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer, Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo and Koln's Sebastian Bornauw believed to be players that City are interested in.

Farke, also speaking to City's website, added: “We’re very happy that both Dimitris and Ben are now permanent members of our squad.

"Ben has been great from the moment he walked through the door. His class and personality very much helped us stabilise our defensive behaviour.

"He’s also a great leader and a fantastic person to have in the dressing room."

MORE: Hanley injury not as bad as first feared