This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
We brought you the exclusive that Norwich City are among a trio of clubs eyeing a move for Harry Darling this summer.
The 22-year-old has been one of the most elegant ball playing defenders in League One for the last season or so, and with Milton Keynes Dons narrowly missing out on promotion in 2021/22, it is no surprise to see high profile interest emerge.
It will be interesting to see how Dean Smith sets the Canaries up in the Championship, with Darling thriving in a possession-based side this season.
We gathered the thoughts of a selection of FLW writers to see if they believe that Darling would be a smart addition for the Canaries…
Considering the Canaries’ recent relegation, more playing time could be on offer for Darling if he moved to Carrow Road and this could be a good move if he is given reassurances over his playing minutes.
However, Ben Gibson, Grant Hanley and Christoph Zimmermann are all available as options and this is why he may not get as much game time as he would want.
In that case, he could be well served joining a side like Swansea City who may be able to make room for him in their starting lineup, with their boss Russell Martin already knowing the centre-back well.
For Norwich though, this could be a good long-term addition for them.
This could turn out to be a shrewd move by Norwich as Darling may be ready to make the step up in level to the Championship after impressing in the third-tier last season.
During the 42 league appearances that he made for MK Dons, Darling completed 3.4 clearances per game, as per WhoScored, and also won 2.5 aerial duels per fixture.
Assured whilst in possession of the ball, the defender completed 86.4% of the passes that he attempted in the third-tier and thus could prove to be a good fit for Dean Smith’s side.
If Darling is able to hit the ground running at Carrow Road, he could potentially help Norwich achieve a great deal of success in the Championship.
Can you remember how much Norwich City paid for these 22 signings?
One thing that might work in Norwich’s favour is that now they are in the Championship once more they might have more openings in their first team to play Darling.
He needs to go somewhere where he is going to be playing regularly to keep getting experience and keep developing, and Norwich might be able to offer that more than most.
They are a club that knows how to look after young players, too, so if he went there I would expect him to be a hit.