SIGNINGS: Farke delivers the inside track on City’s transfer strategy
- Credit: Norwich City Football Club
Norwich City chief Daniel Farke has outlined why bringing in Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp made sense - and why he is not in the market for a centre back or a centre forward.
Farke tapped into the surprise expressed by many Canaries' fans after the Premier League bottom club opted for two more midfield additions following a season blighted by injuries in the centre of defence. While up top, 18-year-old Adam Idah was the only fit and available option for last weekend's 4-0 mauling at Manchester United.
But the City chief, speaking at Colney on Friday ahead of Bournemouth's crunch visit, explained his thinking in terms of Norwich's January transfer strategy. Here is the transcipt...
FARKE, on NEW ARRIVALS
The most important topic in the last days was to bring quality options. I didn't speak about this topic before the Manchester United game because we didn't want any excuses. But during the whole of that week we had 16 fit players on the training pitch and we needed the bring in lads from the academy because we had to struggle with injuries, No Teemu Pukki, no Josip Drmic, no Ben Godfrey.
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It's not healthy to have no options or not many options.
I'm not a big believer that you need a squad of 40 players because they need to feel some trust and some support. But it's also important for group you have competition and the last weeks we didn't have that. As a coach sometimes you want to be even a bit more strict but you can't do this because you need each and every one of them for the match day squad.
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It was important to bring players who have the quality and the experience and the character and this is definitely what we have managed with bringing Duda and Lucas Rupp because they're quality players and they have proved this on a top class level and we are unbelievably happy that we have them. If you analyse our situation we allowed some players to go and perhaps the two closest to our first team was Dennis Srbeny and Patrick Roberts.
Dennis the striker or number 10, Patrick the number 10 or wide player, so we wanted to bring in some offensive players in those areas.
FARKE, on the topic of adding a CENTRE BACK
If you judge it in the first view then it is perhaps natural you say we have never had the options at centre back. The problem was we had Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmerman and also Ben Godfrey plus Timm Klose injured after the transfer window closed in August. We couldn't do anything and even in December we were struggling when Ben got injured.
Now it is the middle of January and we have Ben fit, Christoph fit, Grant fit, even Ibrahim Amadou I judge more as a centre back because that is where he has played his best games and Timm Klose is a few weeks away.
That means we are covered in this position.
FARKE, on the topic of adding a STRIKER
If you say at Old Trafford we had to give an 18-year-old his full Premier League debut then you could argue we need to bring a striker in.
But now we have Teemu, Josip and Adam Idah available for one position. I think in this position we are also definitely covered.
So I would ask you to look across the squad and see where we were weaker? We had three wide players for two positions with Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia and Onel Hernandez.
The same in the full back positions. Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Sam Byram for two positions. I am so glad we have those six players.
These are the only positions where we are not really covered. Lukas has played for Hoffenheim in recent appearances in the winger position and has played at full back. So we have a permanent transfer who can cover two positions.
He can also play in the centre and that means in the mid to long term he can help us in that part of the side. Let's be honest at 33, Alex Tettey, out of contract in the summer, or Mario Vrancic, 31, and then just one year contract left. It is also important to think beyond this January window.
FARKE, on why DUDA makes sense as a loan option
On the flip side, you also have to judge where we have been a bit weak and you would have to say the number 10 role. We didn't deliver with enough goals.
I love my players and I will always back them but we have tried three players in that role and we have one goal, and that was Kenny McLean's header against Manchester City when he played in the holding position.
One thing is for sure we definitely need to improve the end product in this position, and in Ondrej Duda we have a 25-year-old who delivered with 11 goals and seven assists last season in the Bundesliga.
You have to grab this chance.
We have to be creative, we have to take more risk and with our financial opportunities it's a perfect fit. We can't spend millions. He has the potential and if it works out, great, but if not we don't risk the future of the club with a stupid deal. It is a good deal from the business side.