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Hit or miss? Franke has proved new City regime’s most costly transfer failure so far

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 29 June 2018

Marcel Franke has joined Darmstadt on a season-long loan 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Marcel Franke has joined Darmstadt on a season-long loan Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

As Marcel Franke follows Marley Watkins through the Carrow Road exit door, David Freezer assesses the transfer success of Norwich City’s new regime so far with the hits and misses of the past year.

Head coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Stuart Webber, right, are working to try and bring success back to Norwich City Picture: Denise BradleyHead coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Stuart Webber, right, are working to try and bring success back to Norwich City Picture: Denise Bradley

No club in the world gets every transfer right – the biggest clubs in the world have had plenty of flops and Norwich City are no different.

There has been a huge turnover of players as Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber tried to help balance the books while working with head coach Daniel Farke to try and stay competitive in the Championship. While a 14th-placed finish leaves plenty of room to improve, plenty of the players brought in have proved popular with fans.

Kenny McLean and Emi Buendia are the next players City supporters are waiting to get a proper look at, while January arrivals Onel Hernandez, Dennis Srbeny and Moritz Leitner all deserve more time, with Spurs loanee Marcus Edwards the only real flop of the January business. Here’s how the new regime’s signings have fared, so far...

Marley Watkins has been sold to Bristol City after failing to settle at Norwich 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMarley Watkins has been sold to Bristol City after failing to settle at Norwich Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Marley Watkins – MISS

Fresh from a season of scoring 10 goals in 42 Championship games for Barnsley a free transfer seemed a very sensible signing.

The forward failed to settle though and most fans were pleased to see City managed to get £1million from Bristol City for him earlier this month, after one goal in 28 games.

Mario Vrancic shooks of a tough start with City to show what he was capable of 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMario Vrancic shooks of a tough start with City to show what he was capable of Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Mario Vrancic – HIT

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international midfielder initially struggled to catch up to the pace of English football after signing from German second tier side Darmstadt for a fee of £650,000.

However, the 29-year-old eventually found his feet and started to show his passing range, leaving Farke to admit he was unlucky to lose his starting place.

Angus Gunn impressed while on loan with the Canaries from Manchester City. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesAngus Gunn impressed while on loan with the Canaries from Manchester City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Angus Gunn – HIT

Signing a young goalkeeper who was yet to play a senior game was an undoubted gamble, if you look beyond the eye-catching story of a Norwich-born son of a Canaries legend returning to the club.

Gunn backed up his potential though, big time: England senior call-up, third in player-of-the-season vote, one of the best keepers in the league.

Christoph Zimmermann earned a new contract after making the step up at Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesChristoph Zimmermann earned a new contract after making the step up at Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Christoph Zimmermann – HIT

The imposing centre-back’s quest to step up from the fourth tier of German football was always a low-risk move, as he followed Farke across from Dortmund U23s on a free transfer.

Although his first City season wasn’t always plain sailing, the defender’s big character and obvious bravery have made him a fan favourite – and earned him a contract until 2021.

Harrison Reed spent the season on loan at City from Southampton 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesHarrison Reed spent the season on loan at City from Southampton Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Harrison Reed – HIT

Just about qualifies as a hit after his season-long loan from Southampton, of which much of the second half was spent covering at right-back.

Lack of physicality was an issue in midfield but excellent attitude and work ethic ensured he was popular with many City fans, although a return looks unlikely.

James Husband has struggled for form since joining from Middlesbrough 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesJames Husband has struggled for form since joining from Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

James Husband – MISS

Another low-risk arrival after being signed for around £500,000 from Middlesbrough, in a deal worth up to £1m, after injury issues had stunted his development – including loans at Fulham and Huddersfield.

Started 14 league games and saw Marco Stiepermann chosen ahead of him at left-back, before Jamal Lewis emerged at Christmas. Two years left on his contract and only 24 years old so time is on his side.

Marcel Franke's last start for Norwich was dureing a 4-0 loss at Millwall Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMarcel Franke's last start for Norwich was dureing a 4-0 loss at Millwall Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Marcel Franke – MISS

The most costly failure of the new era so far, after being signed from Greuther Furth in a deal worth up to £2.5m.

Seventh appearance was the 4-0 nightmare at Millwall. January loan to Dynamo Dresden followed in January and now loaned back to the German second tier with Darmstadt for this season, who have the option to buy.

Tom Trybull missed two chunks of City's season through injury 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesTom Trybull missed two chunks of City's season through injury Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Tom Trybull – HIT

Ex-Werder Bremen midfielder established himself as a classy operator after joining on a free having left Dutch side Den Haag.

Missed two chunks of the season through injury but expected to be a key player if he can stay fit, having extended his contract until 2021.

Marco Stiepermann missed most of the second half of the season after hernia surgery Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMarco Stiepermann missed most of the second half of the season after hernia surgery Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Marco Stiepermann – JURY’S OUT

Difficult to judge the ex-Bochum man after covering well at left-back before fading and telling the media he was ‘born to score goals’ after his switch for a £1m fee.

Combative and determined but missed most of the second half of the season after hernia surgery.

It was a waiting game for Sean Raggett at City after his Lincoln loan ended Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesIt was a waiting game for Sean Raggett at City after his Lincoln loan ended Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Sean Raggett – JURY’S OUT

Towering defender signed for £350,000 but loaned back to Lincoln until January.

Just two brief appearances as a substitute for City followed.

Grant Hanley was a huge success for the Canaries Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesGrant Hanley was a huge success for the Canaries Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Grant Hanley – HIT

At £3.5m the Scotland defender was the most expensive signing but has proved to be worth every penny, finishing second in the player-of-the season vote.

Tough, uncompromising, surprisingly speedy and a leader. Everything that was so badly needed after that awful day at Millwall.

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