Norwich City are looking to be on course for an immediate return to the Premier League and enter the international break in an enviable position at the top of the Championship table.
The Canaries’ nine-game winning run was finally brought to an end on Saturday by Blackburn Rovers, who managed to come from behind to take a point at Carrow Road. However, that still leaves Daniel Farke’s side with a sizeable 14 points advantage on third-placed Swansea City. Although the Welsh club do have a game in hand. While they are also eight clear of Watford in second.
Whilst Norwich will not be getting carried away at this stage, their attentions must now be starting to turn towards the summer transfer window and the signings they would need to make to make them more competitive in the Premier League than they were last term. It is vital that they do get the right players into the squad to help them try and avoid relegation.
Last season, one of the main issues for the Canaries was injury issues, especially in the defensive areas of the pitch. That left Farke’s side without a number of their most important defenders for prolonged periods and prevented them from ever being able to build from a solid foundation. The Canaries will have learned that they need more quality squad depth to survive the top-flight.
On Saturday, Ben Gibson suffered a major injury scare with the Burnley loanee being stretchered off the field with an ankle injury. Farke said after the game to the media that the defender’s injury will now be assessed to determine how long term it will be. Norwich do reportedly have the option to make his loan permanent in the summer if they go up, but this injury shows cover will be needed for him.
Norwich have already been recently linked with a potential move for Paderborn defender Sebastian Schonlau, who has been enjoying an impressive campaign in the German second division making 3.8 clearances and 1.2 interceptions per game in his 25 league appearances (Sofascore). That is similar to the 3.9 clearances and 1.6 interceptions per game being put up by Gibson this term (Sofascore).
It has been reported that the Canaries are considering making a move for 26-year-old at the end of the campaign, with the defender’s current deal with Paderborn set to expire in the summer. It does seem like a potential signing that would fit in with Norwich’s model with them having recruited players from Germany throughout Farke’s time in charge.
In light of Gibson’s injury, it would make sense for the Canaries to step up their thoughts about moving for the defender. If they feel that Schonlau is the right fit for them then they should try and secure his signature so that they can be sure of having more cover in the defensive area of the field this time around in the Premier League.