Norwich City boss Dean Smith has revealed his side haven’t been contacted by AFC Bournemouth regarding the potential permanent sale of Todd Cantwell this summer, with the ex-Aston Villa manager speaking to Norfolk Live.
The midfielder arrived at the Vitality Stadium in January with the Cherries having the option to purchase the 24-year-old for over £10m on the expiration of his loan spell this summer.
This was a statement of intent from the second-tier side who strengthened their squad considerably on deadline day with the likes of Kieffer Moore and Nat Phillips also arriving on the south coast, with the latter two playing a big part in helping Scott Parker’s men to secure promotion back to the Premier League.
Quiz: Which club did AFC Bournemouth sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
Cantwell, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to make as much of an impact with just 11 league appearances to his name for his current loan side, recording no goals or assists in the process.
This will be a blow for the midfielder who would have been desperate to impress and show the Canaries why they should have retained him – and he would have put himself in with a good chance of playing in the top flight next season with the Cherries if he had made a real impression at the Vitality Stadium.
However, he hasn’t been able to do so and that may consign him to a return to Carrow Road, with Smith confirming that his side hadn’t received contact regarding a longer-term stay for Cantwell on the south coast.
The 51-year-old said: “From what I can believe, we have not heard from Bournemouth yet.
“I congratulate them on getting promoted under Scott Parker, and obviously Fulham as well.
“But it is Bournemouth’s choice now on whether they want to take up the option on Todd or not. If not, he comes back home to Norwich.”
It would be nonsensical to pay the eight-figure fee needed to lure him to the Vitality Stadium permanently considering how little impact he has made, although it could be argued that he’s only had a limited time to impress.
The fact he has been an unused substitute though on multiple occasions probably signals that Parker hasn’t been impressed by the 24-year-old and this is a shame for the player who would have been keen to play an instrumental role in their promotion push.
Perhaps he will benefit from returning to Norwich though because that could allow him to thrive against opponents that are weaker than the ones he would face if he was plying his trade in the top tier.
He has also been accustomed to life at Carrow Road for several years, something that can’t be said about him regarding the Vitality after only joining in January.
It will be interesting to see what happens in terms of his future though because there are no guarantees he will remain in Norfolk this summer, even if the Cherries opt against a permanent agreement.
According to Dorset Live, that is the most likely outcome after failing to make his mark.