David Hannant: Who will remain and who will make their Norwich City exit in 2018?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
So we’ve just about reached the end of 2017 and, needless to say, a lot has changed.
The squad has been overhauled to the point that we could just about field an entire XI of new arrivals, the backroom staff has a completely new look, even the structure of the club itself.
With City currently blowing occasionally hot and regularly cold, and all the talk being of transition (which is fair enough) and expectations at the lowest they have been in a while, I’ll resist the temptation of looking back at a year I’d rather forget.
Instead, I’m going to delve into speculating about what the next year could hold – and, given the vast amount of change the squad has undergone this year, I thought what better way to do this than hazard a guess at what the squad could look like on this date, 2018.
I couldn’t even begin to guess what arrivals there could be – I’m sure the number of City fans who were able to successfully predict this summer’s transfer activity are countable on one hand.
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However, what I will try and predict is which players will remain and which will be making a Norwich City exit (Nexit).
1 Angus Gunn: Remain
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With Manchester City waltzing their way to the title, it’s tough to see there being a home for him at the Etihad. Being a local boy, it’s possible he’ll favour another term on loan here and I think Pep may well be on board.
2 Ivo Pinto: Remain
Having been made skipper, he is clearly a big part of the plans.
3 James Husband: Nexit
Husband could go either way for me, but perhaps not having played as much as he’d like, he may go.
4 Harrison Reed: Nexit
While he hasn’t in my eyes been quite as outstanding as he looked in the first stages, I can still see Southampton wanting to take a look at him next term.
5 Russell Martin: Nexit
He started the year as skipper, now is nowhere near the squad. He seems ambitious, so I can see him moving on.
6 Christoph Zimmermann: Remain
The easiest of the list – new contract, grateful to be here, exceeding expectations. Remain.
7 Steven Naismith: Nexit
Another fairly straightforward one, his time is surely up.
8 Mario Vrancic: Remain
The Bosnian is growing into his role and looks settled.
9 Nelson Oliveira: Nexit
Likely to be one of the highest earners, which we know City are going to have to sacrifice. Was quite close to the exit in August as well, so I can see his time ending.
10 Cameron Jerome: Remain
This is one of the trickier ones. However, I think with sporadic injuries, fewer first team games and his age, I could see Cam moving on this summer.
11 Josh Murphy: Remain
I think this depends on how the rest of his season goes – if he continues to blow hot and cold, he’ll stay. If he flies he may follow his twin.
12 Marley Watkins: Remain
Only just settling in.
13 Paul Jones: Nexit.
14 Wes Hoolahan: Nexit
It pains me to even think about this, but with this being his testimonial year and Ireland’s World Cup disappointment, I can see Wes riding off into the sunset.
15 Timm Klose: Nexit
I worry Timm’s exit could come sooner rather than later, even as soon as January. His international coach has made it clear if he wants World Cup football, he must be in a top flight – ridiculously.
16 Matt Jarvis: Remain
Remarkably, Jarvis is under contract until 2019, so unless City pay him off he’s not going anywhere with his injury record. I do really feel for him, though.
17 Yanic Wildschut: Nexit
His opportunities have been far too limited, I think he’ll be offloaded, possibly in January.
18 Marco Stiepermann: Remain
19 Tom Trybull: Remain
21 Alex Pritchard: Remain
This is purely wishful thinking, nothing else. In reality, he will probably have suitors and go.
22 Ben Godfrey: Remain
He could be a big player.
23 James Maddison: Nexit
Let’s be honest, Maddison is the prized asset now and if he isn’t prised away in January, he almost certainly will be in the summer.
24 Harry Toffolo: Nexit
I feel if he was going to get his chance, he’d have had it by now, particularly looking at this man...
26 Jamal Lewis: Remain
The next Adam Drury?
27 Alex Tettey: Nexit
I’d love to see him stay, but with probable big wages and his contract up, I can see him going.
28 Marcel Franke: Remain
I think we will want to take another look after his loan.
29 Remi Matthews: Remain
31 Grant Hanley: Remain
33 Michael McGovern: Nexit
34 Louis Thompson: Remain
Which brings me onto the one whose future most will likely be speculating over...
Daniel Farke: Remain
I can’t stand fans booing their own club – but obviously this happens.
After the Brentford game, it was some of the angriest boos I have heard at Carrow Road for quite some time. However, it was not the noise at the final whistle that worried me.
I honestly could not believe my ears when I heard – admittedly a very small number – fans actually boo City ON TO the field after the interval.
How is this in the slightest bit constructive?
I don’t like booing, full stop, but a tiny outburst to show frustration can be forgiven.
Luckily I sit high enough in the gods that I’m sure none of the players heard it, but imagine if they did – if anything could elicit a, ‘fine, I won’t bother’ type of attitude it could be that. I can honestly say if this was a trend that began to spread, though, I for one would be embarrassed for them.
My attitude is, if you feel you absolute have to boo, save it for the final whistle and stick to being a supporter during the game - and support.
Big future for Jamal
I was absolutely delighted to see Jamal Lewis back from injury and making his full debut against Birmingham.
The youngster was a real stand-out performer in pre-season and by the sound of the reviews, he picked up right where he left off.
As a fan, there are few things more enjoyable than a player coming through your own ranks and making a splash, and though it’s far too early to say this about Jamal, I’d love to see him make that position his own.
One of my all-time favourite City players was a left-back – Adam Drury, Mr Reliable.
The former Posh full-back barely put a foot wrong in yellow and green and became quite the stalwart.
In the decade he was a near permanent fixture in the back four and gave one Darren Huckerby licence to be the attacking force he always was.
If Jamal Lewis can bed himself in and strike up this type of relationship with Josh Murphy, the pair could become a real force for years to come – and they’re both ones of our own!