Norwich City A-Z: L is for last orders – Maddison has shown value of deadline day business
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After this week’s mega-money sale of a previous Norwich City deadline day signing in James Maddison, David Freezer decided to make L for last orders please, in our alternative Canaries A-Z summer series.
Canaries chief Stuart Webber has made clear his dislike for deadline-day deals – but last-minute signings can prove extremely worthwhile, as James Maddison has proved.
Amid the hype and hyperbole of the final hours of the January transfer window this year it was all quiet down at Carrow Road, with the Canaries announcing they were shutting up shop early at 7pm.
The only business completed at all on the final day of January was allowing young winger Glenn Middleton to join Rangers, with deals for Onel Hernandez, Dennis Srbeny and Moritz Leitner all sealed a week earlier.
The summer window was rather more frenetic but the final major piece of business, signing Grant Hanley from Newcastle for £3.5m, was still completed before deadline day.
“The madness it can create only underlines why the transfer window should shut before the start of the season,” Webber told the Telegraph ahead of that August finale – and he has now got his wish.
EFL clubs voted in February to fall in line with Premier League sides in agreeing a new deadline for permanent signings, which will be 5pm on Thursday, August 9 this year. This means clubs will have made their signings before the top-flight season starts, although still a few days after the opening day of the Championship campaign.
Clubs outside the Premier League will still be able to make loan signings until the end of August and sell to clubs in other European leagues where the window remains open until the close of play on Friday, August 31.
All of which means the likes of January 31, 2017, are unlikely to be seen again at City any time soon, on Webber’s watch at least.
That day saw chief executive Jez Moxey and manager Alex Neil frantically try to resurrect a crumbling campaign, selling Martin Olsson, Robbie Brady and Sergi Canos for around £20m collectively.
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Yanic Wildschut was brought in from Wigan for around £4m, in a deal potentially worth around £7m, and Mitchell Dijks from Ajax on loan as the Canaries tried to breathe fresh life into their play-off hopes. We all know what happened next though.
Go back another 12 months and the late actions of Neil and then CEO David McNally have proved hugely successful, when James Maddison was signed with minutes to spare of the January 2016 window.
A deal worth around £3m secured Coventry’s star academy product from under the noses of watching clubs including Tottenham and Liverpool.
This week Maddison was sold to Leicester in a deal worth up to £24m after becoming the star of the show at Carrow Road, earning Coventry a tidy sell-on fee in the process.
The late drama can prove risky as well though, as Neil proved on the final day of the summer 2015 window when he sanctioned the unpopular sale of reigning player of the season Bradley Johnson to Derby in a deal worth around £7.5m.
Arriving that day? Matt Jarvis, initially on loan from West Ham before his move was made permanent for around £2.5m later in the year – shortly before the winger’s injury nightmare began.
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How about this for another infamous deadline day signing, Harry Kane. You may have heard of him...
We all know that the current England captain and striking sensation’s loan didn’t work out but perhaps Chris Hughton was on to something when signing the Spurs 19-year-old in September 2012, if only a broken bone in his foot hadn’t intervened.
Earlier that year Paul Lambert and McNally had joined in with the drama of the final day of the window when signing 21-year-old defender Ryan Bennett from Peterborough.
The former England U21 international perhaps never fulfilled his potential at City but once again, the intentions were sound and the ability was there.
Bennett was among those released by Webber early last summer and again the Canaries have set about their business early in the window this summer, announcing the arrival of former Argentina U20 attacker Emi Buendia from Getafe early.
The books have also been balanced with around £35m from the sales of Maddison, Josh Murphy and Marley Watkins.
With over six weeks remaining for business to be completed it would seem Webber and head coach Daniel Farke have plenty of time to finalise their squad – but you can never rule out a late deal proving too good to ignore.