Sam Winnall had a positive start with Derby prior to his serious injury.
The 27-year-old was on loan at the club from Sheffield Wednesday after failing to assert himself at the top of the pecking order.
He helped Derby start the season relatively strongly, but picked up a major knee injury in February, which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
It was a big blow for Winnall because he had settled in well, and he even continued his recovery there rather than returning to his parent club.
Derby’s change of manager as well as their limited finances gives them a conundrum in regards to whether they should sign Winnall permanently, which the Canaries should take advantage of.
Winnall scored six goals and assisted another in 17 league games, which isn’t a bad return. However, that doesn’t tell the full picture because only six of those games were starts, so he only played a total of 633 minutes. Therefore, he had a huge influence on games in the opportunities he was given.
His shot volume was high because he averaged 1.3 per game, so he was given plenty of service in Gary Rowett’s system. However, there are similarities in terms of the amount of chances that Norwich create even though they go about it with a radically different style.
Winnall also adds a significant aerial presence with an average of 1.6 aerial duels won per game, which would be useful if Norwich need an outlet when they are stuck in their own half or resort to more direct play near the end of a match.
His passing accuracy would need to be improved, though, because he averaged 75.5%. Strikers in Daniel Farke’s system at Norwich are heavily involved in the final third as they patiently open up the opposition to create high quality chances.
Winnall would certainly be an upgrade on Nelson Oliveira and the other strikers at the club even if he isn’t a perfect fit, with Norwich able to provide the service he is accustomed to.
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