Soto's loan at Telstar ends as City close on work permit for USA striker
- Credit: Pieter Hoogeveen/1963-pictures
Sebastian Soto is poised to finally join up with Norwich City properly after the Canaries decided to cut short the USA international striker's loan at Telstar.
The 20-year-old had scored seven goals in 12 matches for the Dutch second-tier side this season but that planned season-long loan has been brought to an end early so that City can properly assess their summer signing from Hannover.
The Canaries have stated that the return is "subject to confirmation of a work permit" and it's believed club staff are confident of securing that status soon.
Soto hasn't even been able to train with Norwich since signing in July but it's hoped that the work permit - helped by winning two senior USA caps at the end of last year, scoring twice - will be secured so that he can settle into his surroundings at the Lotus Training Centre.
It's understood that head coach Daniel Farke wants the chance to work with the Californian in training so that he can assess the youngster's progress fully, before deciding on what the next stage of his development will be.
That could lead to the American or fellow young striker Tyrese Omotoye heading out on loan before the end of the January transfer window, with the other player remaining as cover for the front-line strikers and to focus on developing in training and U23 matches.
Although top scorer Teemu Pukki has missed two games with a side strain, the Finland star is expected to return for the home league game against Middlesbrough at the end of the month, following Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at Barnsley.
Jordan Hugill has started the last three games and scored both goals in Wednesday night's 2-0 home win over Bristol City, with Republic of Ireland international Adam Idah closing on a return to full training after a couple of months out with a knee injury.
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Omotoye, 18, last month signed a contract until 2024 having made three brief Championship cameos in December. He has been an unused substitute for each of City's last nine games, having impressed at U23 level earlier this season.
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Soto joined German second-tier side Hannover from MLS franchise Real Salt Lake in 2018 and made three appearances in the top flight prior to Hannover's relegation, having been prolific at youth levels.
In the summer of 2019 he was among the top scorers at the U20 World Cup, scoring four goals - two of which were in a shock 3-2 win over France in the first knockout round, followed by a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Ecuador in the quarter-finals.
However, just two brief appearances in Bundesliga Two followed in 2019-20 so Soto opted to leave Hannover when his contract expired, joining Norwich on a contract until 2023.
His UK work permit hopes - which require overseas players to meet criteria as a top-level talent - were boosted as he came off the bench and scored twice during a 6-2 friendly win over Panama in Austria in November, as he made his senior international debut.
Having come through the USA national academy system from a young age - and with his family roots also making playing for Chile an option until he has played a competitive fixture - Soto also came on in the 58th minute of a 6-0 friendly romp against El Salvador in Florida in December.
Canaries academy midfielder Daniel Adshead remains on loan at Telstar, with the England U20 international having been named in the Dutch second tier's Team of the Week after his latest performance.
- We spoke to Soto about his progress in October, you can watch that interview below