Norwich City are on course to win promotion back to the Premier League, but even that is unlikely to stop them losing the talented Max Aarons in the summer.
In truth, it’s a minor miracle that the Canaries managed to keep the right-back for the current campaign. Barcelona were monitoring the England U21 international prior to this season, but a move didn’t materialise.
Nevertheless, it’s a case of when, not if, Aarons joins a truly elite club, with Bayern Munich and Manchester United thought to be keeping tabs on the defender, who Norwich want £35m for.
With a summer switch seeming inevitable, key figures at Carrow Road will already be lining up replacements. And, one name who should be on their radar is Gonzalo Ávila Gordón, who is better known as Pipa.
The right-back joined Huddersfield from Espanyol in the summer, and he has been a real positive for the Terriers. Assured in possession, the Spaniard excels going forward, with two goals and four assists a decent contribution from his deep position – and more that Aarons has delivered.
Daniel Farke will demand that any new right-back has the ability to contribute in the final third, with his attacking philosophy well-known, and this shouldn’t be a problem for Pipa, who stars for Carlos Corberan who adopts a similarly adventurous approach.
Can you name the club’s top goalscorer from the last 13 seasons?
Of course, that’s not to say the 23-year-old is the finished article. There are still aspects of his game that needs improving, whilst the jump up to the Premier League could be too much for someone who is still relatively new to English football.
However, he is the sort of signing that fits the profile for Norwich. They have specialised in finding players who are at a good age and have the ability to improve, before selling them on for a hefty profit.
Having been the shining light for Huddersfield this season, Pipa has shown enough to suggest he is ready for the next step, and a switch to a newly-promoted side would surely appeal.
With Aarons’ exit nailed on, the Norwich recruitment team will already be assessing potential replacements, and the classy Spaniard will surely be under consideration.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.