City's defensive loan duo have impressed - when fit
- Credit: PA
Their chances of breaking through at Norwich City next season may look slim but loans manager Neil Adams believes the Canaries have two excellent central defensive prospects in development.
Centre-backs Akin Famewo and Rocky Bushiri spent another season away on loan and both were disrupted by injuries.
The emergence of Irish 18-year-old Andrew Omobamidele means that Famewo and Bushiri - who are both under contract until 2023 - could be facing another loan or even a permanent exit this summer.
Towering 23-year-old Famewo made 22 appearances as Charlton just missed out on the League One play-offs, being interrupted by injury issues.
City loans chief Adams said: “The goal for Akin was to go and get games under his belt, to go and prove himself at League One level and impress at a good club, a really big club, in Charlton Athletic.
“He has had a fantastic loan there. He was excellent. He kept six clean sheets in the first seven games, and six clean sheets on the spin, which is pretty much unheard of at any level.
“He was part of that back four and the goalkeeper who did that, along with the team, to give Charlton credit. We have seen all his games and he has done really well.
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“He has shown his attributes, that we know he has got. He is strong, he is quick, he can defend, and he can play on the ball.
“He was hampered by one or two injuries, which was a bit of a shame because it disrupted his flow and frustrated him, but I think overall he went and showed what a good defender he is and, obviously, he has ticked that box and now it is on to next season and what decision and what pathway he has now.”
Belgium Under-21 international Bushiri was initially with Mechelen but switched to Eupen in January, making nine appearances in the Belgian top flight overall. The 21-year-old's season was brought to an end in March by a knee injury.
“Rocky’s stock is very high in Belgium,” Adams continued. “He has played for the under-21 team and had some fantastic performances for them against some big teams.
“They beat Germany for example, who were regarded as the best under-21 team at that time last year and Rocky was man-of-the-match in that game.
“So, his stock is really high there and it made sense to keep him there. He knows Belgium and they know him.
“He has been unfortunate with injuries. You can’t help that, and an injury can derail you and put you back and that has been frustrating for us and for Rocky because he got himself going, and then he got an injury, and then he got himself going again, and then he got an injury and he needed surgery. Then, all of a sudden, the season was over, and you are thinking 'it is frustrating'.
“Rocky is a really good player and what we want, and what Rocky wants, is for him to go and have an injury-free season and showcase what he can do and then everyone will benefit from that.”