‘Mario Vrancic is the kind of player Norwich City fans will love’ – so says Bundesliga TV commentator Dan O’Hagan, as midfielder prepares for Canaries spell
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Norwich City fans can get excited about signing Mario Vrancic, according to a man who knows all about Bundesliga football.
The 28-year-old Darmstadt midfielder joined the Canaries on a three-year deal for £650,000 after the German side’s relegation triggered a release clause in Vrancic’s contract.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international with his team-mates had to punch above their weight in the German top flight for two seasons.
But next season he will get to show what he’s got in the Championship, as the third signing this summer by head coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Stuart Webber.
“He’s the kind of player fans will love because he’s got a really high energy and plays with his heart on his sleeve,” said football TV commentator Dan O’Hagan.
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“He can be a bit rash. I saw him get sent off (two bookings) against Mainz back in March.
“It’s hard to judge a player playing in a team as poor as Darmstadt, but he did stand out as one of their better players in what was a pretty awful season. He’s got a handful of caps for Bosnia so he’s on their radar as well.
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“The curious bit is you can’t say he’s played in a top team. I know he’s played for Borussia Dortmund II, so Farke may know of his time there. But he’s also played for Paderborn who got relegated, and Darmstadt who got relegated too.
“You get a bit worried when you think of players like Sebastien Bassong and the number of relegations on his CV. But I don’t think Vrancic is in that calibre, of being a good player who is going to take you down.”
Vrancic was Darmstadt’s joint top scorer last season – albeit with just four goals, adding two assists for the top flight’s lowest scorers.
The left-footed player did that at times as a number 10 and wide left, but mostly sitting in central midfield – and that is the role Vrancic is expected to take up at Carrow Road next season.
Two years younger and taller than Graham Dorrans, as well as being on significantly lower wagers, all means the Scot is primed for the Norwich City exit door as soon as the right bid comes in – although Jonny Howson also seems unlikely to remain at Carrow Road for next season should he get the offer of a return north.
“Clearly in a team as bad as Darmstadt, to do as well as he did says he’s a player – and I can’t stress enough that Darmstadt were really a third division team who got lucky,” added O’Hagan.
“They picked up a double promotion and had two seasons in the Bundesliga they didn’t really merit on paper in terms of their squad.
“I saw Vrancic play several times last season and he was playing in a very poor team. They survived the first season pretty well but playing very defensively, and in their second season they got found out.
“So he was playing almost above himself and it will be good to see him play in a better team to see how good he is because it was hard to judge him playing for Darmstadt.
“I think Norwich have got a good player there. He has played alongside Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic for Bosnia too, so he’s obviously been playing at that level pretty well, and I think he’s a good acquisition.”