Zimmermann ‘very thankful’ to join the Canaries contract party – and Aarons could be next
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Popular defender Christoph Zimmermann has signed a new long-term contract with Norwich City – and it seems Max Aarons could soon be joining the lengthy list of players with new deals as well.
Zimmermann becomes the 11th player to sign a new contract since last season, with the majority of the regular players during the Championship title triumph already committing their future to the club.
Argentine attacker Emi Buendia was announced as the latest title winner to be rewarded with a new deal last night and now Zimmermann, who wore the captain's armband during the second half of last season, has followed suit - signing until 2023, with the option for a further year.
"I am very thankful to the club for offering me the opportunity to extend my contract and to sign a new deal," Zimmermann said.
"I think from when I started, I never made a secret of what the people, club and the whole region means to me and how my feelings are for everything we are doing here so for that of course, I am really pleased and happy to have four more years with Norwich City.
"There is lots of excitement about the new season and we are really happy to be in the Premier League.
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"But also we need to take responsibility and enjoy the games to get the right results and enough points to reach our goals."
The towering centre-back had been playing in the fourth tier in Germany with Borussia Dortmund II but came across to England in 2017 when Daniel Farke was appointed head coach, initially on a two-year deal with an option for a further year.
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Within six months Zimmermann had done enough to earn a better contract and extended until 2021, with the option for a further 12 months, with January speculation soon following suggesting that Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was monitoring his progress.
However, Zimmermann has become an established player at City and has made 90 appearances during his two seasons with the club, finishing second in the voting for the Player of the Season award for 2018-19, behind Teemu Pukki.
His determined attitude, aerial dominance and ever-improving passing ability has made him a hit with Canaries fans and earned the 26-year-old an extension until at least 2023.
Speaking to City's official website, he added: "When you are young and 10 years old, of course your dream is to play in the Premier League.
"But the older you get, the more realistic you become because especially with my case, I didn't think it was likely for me to play in the Premier League so it's more than I have ever expected.
"Even two years ago, I couldn't see the connection of how it was possible for me to first of all come over to England but then to play in the Championship and also have the opportunity to get promoted and then to play in the best league of the world.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet to be honest. I think it's the same for people around the club but as soon as the season starts, we know we will belong in the Premier League."
Zimmermann and Buendia follow on from players including Pukki, Marco Stiepermann, Onel Hernandez and Tim Krul in signing new deals.
And it seems there are more contracts on the way as well, with the Telegraph reporting this afternoon that England Under-19 right-back Aarons is set to sign a new five-year contract as well.
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The reigning EFL Young Player of the Year has been linked with big clubs including Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United this year, after a superb breakthrough season with the Canaries - which had already seen him extend terms until 2023 during last season, soon after signing a professional deal last summer.
Yet it seems the 19-year-old will follow Ben Godfrey (2023) and Todd Cantwell (2022) in committing his future yet again to the Canaries, as his rapid rise to prominence shows little sign of slowing.