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Exclusive: Dean Ashton speaks to Football League World about Norwich and Rhodes



Former Norwich City striker Dean Ashton is concerned about where the goals are going to come from at Carrow Road now that James Maddison has departed.

Maddison left Norwich this summer, joining Premier League side Leicester City in a big money move.

And the England under-21 international is not the only player to have departed during this close season – Josh Murphy has also moved to the Premier League, joining Cardiff City.

Maddison scored 14 goals and provided eight assists for Norwich last season, while Murphy weighed in with seven goals and three assists.

Ashton, who scored 18 goals in a year-and-a-half at Norwich, is worried that his old club might not have the same firepower as they did last season after losing this key pair.

Speaking at the launch of the Quest TV EFL highlights show, he told FLW writer Jay Williams: “I think it’s going to be a tough season.

“At the moment, I don’t quite see where the goals are going to come from because they’ll play possession football without that real cutting edge and without Maddison, I don’t see where that’s coming from.”

Quizzed on whether Maddison and Murphy could be replaced, Ashton questioned whether they have brought in the right players.

He added: “I’m slightly concerned just because that’s pretty much where their goals came from, especially Maddison. I thought he was one of the best players in the league.

“I don’t feel like they have replaced them with the same quality but then again, there are players who a lot won’t have heard of.

“The likes of Teemu Pukki. Players that we haven’t necessarily heard of, but can they adapt to Championship football?”

Norwich have made a number of signings in an attempt to replace these two, including attacking midfielders Emi Buendia and Ben Marshall, as well as strikers Pukki and Jordan Rhodes.

Rhodes joins on a season-long loan from Sheffield Wednesday after a poor season at Hillsborough but he has a proven track record of scoring goals in the Championship.

However, Ashton is not convinced that his style of play fits Daniel Farke’s system.

The former England striker said: “If they play the same way they did last season, then I think no.

“They don’t play to a striker’s strengths, they play to a player like Maddison’s strengths.  They play possession football, looking to find that little gap between defence and midfield for Maddison to work in.

“Last season, Cameron Jerome and Nelson Oliveira found it really difficult being starved of the ball. Rhodes, I’m afraid, isn’t the type of player who will create things for himself, so I think – not through any fault of his own – it’ll be a tough season for him.”

NCTJ-qualified journalist - University of Birmingham undergraduate - King's College London postgraduate - Coventry City and West Ham United

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