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…
Norwich City are lining up a transfer move for AFC Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing, according to The Mirror.
The 25-year-old shone in the Cherries side towards the end of the 2020-21 campaign, scoring eight times in the Championship as Jonathan Woodgate used him in a more advanced midfield role.
He was unable to help his side back to the Premier League at the first time of asking through the play-offs, but Daniel Farke may be able to offer him another route there as he looks to add strength to an area that doesn’t have much depth in his squad.
Billing signed for Bournemouth in a £15 million move back in 2019, and they’re looking to make that fee back should they move him on – but would that fee be worthwhile for Norwich to pay? The FLW team have given their thoughts.
I can’t quite put my finger on Billing.
His career hasn’t gone the way I maybe thought it would after he came through at Huddersfield, with Bournemouth not really offering him the platform to make a name for himself.
However, I’ve got to admit that I thought Jonathan Woodgate was getting the best out of him towards the end of last season. The No.10 position really suited his awkward style and he was putting in some top performances.
Whether or not Norwich are right for him, I’m not sure, particularly at £15m. That kind of price-tag is going to put even more pressure on the midfielder to perform back in the Premier League.
Personally, I’d like to see Billing try and justify his price at Bournemouth rather than move on. However, money talks and another crack at the Premier League will be appealing.
Even at £15m, it’s a deal you could see happening.
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Not for me.
I’ve never really bought into the Philip Billing hype and I don’t think it’s the sort of signing Norwich should be making in preparation for their return to the Premier League.
It would be no surprise to see the Canaries look to strengthen in midfield given the departures of players like Mario Vrancic and Oliver Skipp, while they may also want more creativity following Emi Buendia’s departure.
Even so, I don’t think Billing is the right option. On his day, the Bournemouth man can be brilliant but I’d question the consistency and the murmurs about off-field issues in the past.
For £15 million, this wouldn’t represent money well spent for me and wouldn’t fill me with confidence about Norwich’s chances of staying up.
I think this would be a smart move by Norwich.
The Canaries have been fantastic operators in the market over the years, with the club capable of identifying bargains and developing players. And, I think Billing would fall into that category.
At £15m, he would be a significant outlay for the Yellows but his performances for Bournemouth, combined with the fee they paid for him, means that’s a very fair price in today’s market.
Billing’s displays towards the latter part of the previous campaign shows that he is capable of making his mark in the final third now and he has the physicality to cope in the Premier League.
With Bournemouth preparing for another year outside the Premier League, the reality is that sales will happen this summer, so this is a deal that you could see happening and £15m would probably suit all parties.