Connor Southwell: Will City allow defender to complete Basel homecoming?
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Timm Klose has a been a constant in amongst a lot of change since Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber arrived at Norwich City.
Despite being recruited in the January 2016 window that saw the Canaries spend big as they chased the Premier League dream, the towering Swiss defender has displayed his quality and commitment to the club over a four-year period.
But underscoring his City career has been constant links with a return to FC Basel - the club where he began his football career after graduating through their academy.
The latest links surfaced on deadline day - with the Mail reporting that the 32-year-old defender was set to re-sign for his boyhood club as a replacement for Omar Alderete, who signed for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
Klose’s proposed return was reported to be a permanent deal with City receiving a nominal fee for his services.
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Despite the clubs holding talks on a potential deal that would see Klose return to the St. Jakob-Park but only on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.
There wasn’t the need for any deal to be completed before 11pm on Monday, either.
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The transfer window for the Swiss Super League doesn’t close until next Monday and Basel have already been knocked out of the Europa League qualifiers, so it’s believed a prospective deal for the 32-year-old could still go through.
With the respective registration windows at both the EFL and the Swiss Super League - it is a deal that can still happen.
Playing time has been limited for the defender, largely owed to a significant injury he suffered in the EFL Cup defeat to League Two side Crawley Town in August 2019, an ACL injury that saw him ruled out for the majority of the Canaries top-flight campaign.
Post-lockdown, injuries saw him propelled back into the starting XI despite Daniel Farke admitting he wasn’t fully fit.
The Canaries defensive set-up had been porous throughout the season and Klose couldn’t prevent the inevitable relegation that followed.
The Swiss international has proven his quality before. After signing, his performances shored up Alex Neil’s defence and was nearly enough to carry City over the line.
Injury at Selhurst Park ruled him out for the remainder of the season and City went onto suffer relegation.
The culture shock of the Championship followed. Klose turned down moves elsewhere to remain with the club. He admitted to struggling to get to grips with the rigours of the division, but emerged as a key component in Farke’s second season as City romped to the title.
It’s dangerous to write off a man who has continued to defy the odds and boasts a CV with such experience.
However, at present, it seems Klose is some way down the pecking order. Ben Gibson’s arrival has seen him fall further away from the first-team squad.
Beyond an appearance in the EFL Cup against Luton Town last month - Klose is yet to feature in a matchday squad. Although, he has been nursing a hamstring injury suffered against the Hatters,
At his age, playing football must be a priority. He may well offer experience and advice in the dressing room, but nothing replaces an opportunity to play consistently.
For City, he is a great squad option. Someone who can offer snippets of advice to the youngsters and doesn’t want to rock the boat.
If Klose did depart - then City would be left with three defensive options. They would need to dip back into the transfer market, something that could prove tricky for a club who predominantly recruits from abroad due to the inflated domestic window.
Any prospective loan deal would be hard to complete given the lending club would have to settle for their player not being exposed to huge amounts of first-team football.
Unless they brought in a frontline option - but that would mean pushing either Gibson, Grant Hanley or Christoph Zimmermann down the pecking order.
Alex Tettey did operate as a makeshift central defender during pre-season, and Farke is understood to have been content with his performances in that position.
The alternative is a promotion for Andrew Omobamidele - the Irish defender was included in the matchday squad for that Luton cup clash but City won’t want to provide gifts to their young talent.
Webber will have a contingency plan - but it would either need to be believing in the talent already in the door or looking externally for the answer.
Contingency planning will already be in motion - but Klose’s immediate future is unclear.