Victor Camarasa: What’s gone wrong at Crystal Palace and why he could be what Norwich City need
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Victor Camarasa had Premier League clubs knocking his door down last summer after impressing in Cardiff City’s ultimately doomed fight to stay in the Premier League.
Nearly six months on and he finds himself firmly out of favour at Crystal Palace, who appear unlikely to take up a reported option of signing him for £11.5m at the end of the season from parent club Real Betis.
In fact his stay at Selhurst Park might not go beyond January with Norwich City reportedly interested in taking over his loan from the Spanish giants.
Eagles boss Roy Hodgson insisted last month that the midfielder was still in his plans but admitted the player faces a battle to get into his first team thinking.
"He is competing for places in what we regard as an area where we are blessed with players," said the former England boss, who has a fairly set midfield trio of James McCarthy, Luka Milivojevic and Cheikh Kouyate.
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"All he can do is continue working and trying very hard to make us think we would be better off with him than one of the other players currently playing there."
It seems the player can't see light at the end of the tunnel with his agent looking for a potential way out and the Canaries circling.
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While many Norwich fans would prefer to see the club strengthen defensively in the new year, and they still might, they have also struggled to provide ammo for star man Teemu Pukki in recent weeks and that's perhaps where Camarasa fits in.
Marco Stiepermann was the Finn's primary link man in the Championship but the German has only shown flashes of the quality he provides in the top flight.
Camarasa earned rave reviews at Cardiff last season, carrying a threat from the Bluebirds' midfield, something City have certainly lacked in recent weeks.
"You need to play for a manager that believes in you and I just encourage him to shoot whenever he can," said then Cardiff boss Neil Warnock.
Whilst Warnock and City head coach Daniel Farke are very different personalities they share the same man-management qualities that clearly get the best out of Camarasa, who was seen as a real star in the making at Levante before moving to Real Betis.
A move to Carrow Road may suit all parties, although it would disappoint Cardiff fans desperate to see the midfielder back in Wales.
However, there would need to be some negotiation with Betis as the Canaries wouldn't sanction a deal with any obligation to buy come the end of the season given the uncertainty over which division that will be in. Betis will be mindful of the depreciating effect Camarasa's Crystal Palace could have on their asset and may be willing to budge though.
The Canaries could be the shop window Camarasa and Betis want in the second half of the season.