City report card: City's jack of all trades must master one
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
When Jacob Sorensen flashed onto Norwich City's recruitment radar, the judgement was fairly unanimous. He was a Daniel Farke player.
As the Canaries sought to revamp a midfield that had lacked the necessary tools to keep them in the Premier League a season earlier, Sorensen was identified as somebody who possessed the attributes to inject fresh energy into the engine room.
The Dane had been playing for a side who suffered relegated in the top-tier of his home country and were in turmoil as takeover speculation affected performances on the pitch.
When Norwich's recruitment is discussed, Sorensen is another that can be championed in terms of their ability to fish in alternative markets. From Scandinavia, they located a player suited to the rigours of the second tier and was capable of playing Farke's style of play.
Many viewed him as a replacement for Tom Trybull who, despite being pivotal to City's Championship success in 2018/19, lacked mobility, something that saw him fall short of the required standard in the top-flight.
The Denmark U21 international had a greater engine and was seen as someone who possessed the same qualities as Trybull in possession, albeit was five years younger.
There is no coincidence that Sorensen has become one of the City boss' favourites. In his words, 'you will not find a bigger fan of Jacob Lungi Sorensen than me'. With all that said, Sorensen's first season in Norfolk has seen him feature largely out of his natural position.
- 1 Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries keen on Cherries ace
- 2 'Amazing' ambition was key to Buendia's decision to choose Villa
- 3 Norwich City fans get kit help as Pukkimania sparks dash for Euros shirt
- 4 ‘Definitely was not easy’ - City striker on distressing win
- 5 WINDOW WATCH: The latest City transfer news and views
- 6 Left-back seals permanent Canaries exit
- 7 Denmark star 'stabilised' after collapsing during Euros game
- 8 'Pukki will be treated like Messi or Ronaldo''
- 9 A-Z: It's not going to get any easier for Brighton
- 10 'Thank you Norwich' - Buendia pens emotional farewell to Canaries
As Xavi Quintilla pulled up in the warm-up as City were preparing to face promotion rivals Brentford, the Canaries' coaching staff were holding frantic discussions about who should fill the void vacated by the Spanish defender.
With Sam McCallum sent out on loan and Sam Byram sidelined, City had a lack of natural left-footed options on the bench. Farke then had a gut feeling to start Sorensen in a position he had never played in before. After exchanging words with his support staff, the decision was made and the Dane was notified just four minutes before kick-off.
What would become apparent is Sorensen's composure, irrespective of opponent or situation, the midfielder oozes calm and has the ability to maintain the tempo on the ball.
Whilst his performances at left-back were steady, City were struggling to progress the ball down the left-side. Instead of vertical passes that Farke demands, Sorensen's natural right-footedness forced possession horizontally.
That's not to detract from the fine job Sorensen did whilst filling in defensively. Compared to Quintilla, he offered City more stability and balance in their backline and contributed to numerous clean sheets in the process.
Sorensen earned the trust of his boss, something that is a non-negotiable for any player who steps out in yellow and green. Whenever anyone discusses his quality, they state his inability to be fazed by big occasions and quality on the ball.
The Premier League represents a fresh challenge for him, if only because mitigating circumstances have prevented him from showcasing his talents in midfield. By the time Giannoulis was settled, Kenny McLean and Oliver Skipp were thriving.
That placed Sorensen in an altogether different role, one that saw a subtle changing of the guard as Alex Tettey was no longer the go-to late substitution to help City see out matches.
If Sorensen wants to emerge as a starting central midfield option, then he must shake off his jack of all trades tag. Versatility is an important strength, but it can see players struggle to progress due to a lack of consistent games in one area of the pitch.
Denmark U21s see him as a central defender. Farke a midfielder. At this stage of his career, he requires certainty.
Pre-season feels like a pivotal moment, especially with the club targeting two fresh options in that area of the pitch.
With McLean sidelined, Sorensen may have an opportunity to show his worth during the course of the summer prior to the season starting. Despite many shoehorning him into the role Skipp occupied this season, the Danish midfielder has looked more comfortable in the supportive role played by the Scottish international.
His first season at Carrow Road has been a leap forward, just maybe not in the manner he would have envisaged. Sorensen has gained Farke's trust and is admired inside Carrow Road.
Let's hope next season the rave reviews are emerging for his midfield performances rather than fire-fighting ability. When he is in possession, he is a joy to watch. His chance will arrive, when it does, he need to grasp it with both hands.