Connor Southwell: Normann is fast becoming City's new talisman
Praise for Mathias Normann's performances haven't just been arriving from those of a yellow and green persuasion since his arrival at Norwich City.
During trips to Goodison Park and Turf Moor, press boxes have been buzzing with compliments surrounding the Norwegian including from representatives of local media who cover Everton and Burnley.
There may only have been a brief comment as the midfielder was either substituted or had just completed a bit of work on the pitch, but you could see those neutrals making a note of his name in their minds.
Norwich haven't had a player like that in the Premier League for a while.
Normann has not just impressed supporters or his coaching staff, but invigorated a midfield that was lacking both structure and identity before his inclusion, understandable given the overhaul in that area of the pitch in the summer.
The 25-year-old is growing in importance for the Canaries and may hold the key to allowing Daniel Farke to let his side off the shackles from an attacking perspective.
If Farke can achieve a balance between his ballast and Billy Gilmour's technical proficiency, then City may have the best of both worlds in midfield. After all, Normann has shown he is a player willing to roll his sleeves up and represents the sort of character his teammates will want alongside them in the Premier League trenches.
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Since that 3-1 defeat to Watford, Normann has helped contribute to a revived City side conceding fewer than one goal a game and is lifting the performances of those around him.
Kenny McLean has made fewer mistakes since Normann's arrival. Pierre Lees-Melou had his best game in yellow and green to date on Saturday against Brighton. The Norwegian is raising the bar of City's performances both individually and collectively.
The rapturous standing ovation from City punters following his all-action display against Brighton on Saturday merely emphasised their growing admiration for a footballer who seems capable of doing it all.
Irrespective of whether the Canaries maintain their Premier League status or not, if Normann can maintain this level of performance it seems likely that he will still feature at this level next year.
The audacious run of keepie-uppies followed by an outrageous nutmeg on the right-wing that Normann produced in the second half was akin to an older age school student tormenting his juniors.
Ordinarily, it would have been met with surprise but after a similar run against Burnley, he has almost made the extraordinary seem normal.
Only Billy Gilmour has completed more passes that travel beyond 40 yards, only Kieran Dowell and Adam Idah rank higher for averaging more shot creating actions per game than Normann.
This isn't a conventional defensive midfielder.
His style isn't comparable to Alex Tettey or Oliver Skipp, but there is a glorious playfulness to everything he seeks to do on the pitch. Combine that with a mentality that sees every tackle as a life or death situation and you begin to get to the core of what makes him such a unique talent.
At present, he is City's best player. But more importantly, he is a vital cog in a machine that is becoming more defensively efficient.
The same can be said for defender Ozan Kabak, who is slowly improving after a disjointed pre-season. Their peers are raising their levels rather than pulling them down to where they were before they started performing regularly.
There is a feeling inside the club and from those close to Normann that there is more to come from him as he continues getting up to speed with the Premier League and working back to 100 percent fitness.
When he reaches that point, Farke may be willing to convert a midfield trio into a duo - with Normann at the heart of it - in order to implement more attacking personnel into this side.
Minor fitness issues have only seen him complete only one full match for City. Farke admitted before Saturday's clash that preparation for that fixture had been far from perfect.
Maintaining his fitness could be intrinsic to any success Norwich have this season. Balancing those niggling issues with game time is a risk. But Farke will view it as one worth taking given his importance to the cause so far.
After just four matches, Norwich already rely on him to both sniff out danger and set them away on counter-attacks.
His early performances have justified their lengthy pursuit of the Norwegian which began with a conversation in May and saw them have several bids rejected by his parent club Rostov. They revived the deal when it appeared to grind to a halt.
Normann is the result of City's new transfer approach that includes patience. Two years ago, they would have moved on, this time they remained at the door and eventually found a breakthrough.
City's Premier League status may well come down to how quickly they can improve and whether that point arrives in time for them to amass enough points to stay in the division.
One thing is for sure, the performances of Normann will be vital.
NCFC extra: Paddy Davitt's Norwich City column