'That one decision means the value of our players has gone up considerably' - City quids in

Former Norwich City defender Ben Godfrey's big money move to Everton was too good to turn down

Former Norwich City defender Ben Godfrey's big money move to Everton was too good to turn down - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City’s prized assets have increased in value due to the post-Brexit shake up of the transfer market. 

City held onto the likes of Emi Buendia, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell last month for the defining phase of the club's Championship promotion push. 

Norwich rejected interest for Aarons from an overseas suitor, but sporting director Stuart Webber believes the tighter restrictions on buying foreign talent following the UK’s departure from the EU now places a higher premium on the best from these shores. 

“That one decision means the value of our players has gone up considerably. For our club in the short term it is a big advantage,” he said. “It justifies the investment and time put into our academy and homegrown players.

"But in the mid to longer term we have to be careful average homegrown, or settled players already here, will be worth an absolute fortune because clubs will struggle to sign players from other markets. It doesn’t work for us to have a 32 year old journeyman on outrageous wages.

"Look at the success of Jamal (Lewis) at Newcastle and Ben (Godfrey) even more at Everton since last season it puts even more of a premium on the ones we still have here.

"These are Premier League players who can play in the top half of the Premier League. We have to be realistic and accept at some point their journey ends here and then it is maximising the potential.” 

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Godfrey’s move to Everton could net Norwich a club record fee, but for Webber it is not solely about the money. 

“I sat with Ben last summer and I really didn’t want him to go. Nor did Daniel (Farke),” he said. “But it is Everton, one of the best managers in the world and with their stadium development plans they are striving to return to the 1980s, when they were one of the biggest clubs in the country. How can we can stop this lad going?

"It is not only the effect on Ben and the people around him but the rest of the dressing room. 'If they turn down X for him they will do the same to me'. It can cause ill feeling. 

“I had this conversation with a couple of the younger boys last summer. I told them with the greatest respect we are not selling you to a club at the bottom of the Premier League. That is not happening.

"If you are going, it is to a club with European aspirations. Like James Maddison, like Godfrey. Not being rude but not what happened previously with the Murphys or Alex Pritchard. That pains me to be honest.

"Some say unbelievable deals, but that is not what we want. We want to produce players who can play in the Champions League, not end up as a sub in the Championship. We take no pride in that.” 

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