Huddersfield Town are reportedly close to securing an £11 million deal for Norwich City midfielder, Alex Pritchard.
There have been recent transfer rumours suggesting the West Yorkshire club have had two previous bids rejected already, with a more recent report suggesting only £5 million was offered for the 24-year-old.
A contrasting report suggests that he has already agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League side, so it will certainly be interesting to see if this unfolds over the coming days.
Who is Pritchard?
Norwich City signed the attacking midfielder from Tottenham Hotspur in 2016 for a reported £8 million, after he endured four consecutive seasons out on loan from the London Club.
The most recent of these was with Huddersfield’s current Premier League rivals, West Bromwich Albion, but he never made a first-team appearance for the Baggies.
The most successful, however, came in the 2014-15 season on loan at Brentford in the Championship where he scored 12 goals in 48 games.
Since joining the Canaries, he has made 43 appearances, scored eight goals and made 11 assists. He has had a difficult season so far, however, after picking up an ankle injury during pre-season which required surgery.
This has resulted in just nine appearances this season, the first being on 25th November. The most recent of these appearances was in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the FA Cup Third Round.
He has also represented England at U20 and U21 Level.
What is he like as a player?
It is said that he is very technical, can pick a range of passes and score from outside the penalty area and relies on touch and awareness rather than power or physicality.
He often finds clever positions between the lines, in order to try and create chances for the team, which is shown with his goal and assists tally.
How would he contribute to Wagner’s Squad?
David Wagner’s side doesn’t really have a ‘natural’ number 10 at the moment, other than Australia international Aaron Mooy, although he's been playing in a much more defensive role in central midfield for most of this season, alongside Jonathan Hogg and Danny Williams.
This then leaves Collin Quaner, Rajiv van La Parra and Tom Ince to be the main members to fulfil those attacking midfield positions – with all three playing the winger roles as their preferred position.
However, since Elias Kachunga is now injured, Joe Lolley has only recently returned to the match day squads, and Kasey Palmer has been recalled by parent club Chelsea, so there are no other options for the manager for the No. 10 position.
Therefore, Wagner has expressed his interest in signing a more offensive player during the January Transfer Window, such as Alex Pritchard, which may help with Huddersfield’s goal tally, as it should allow strikers Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounié to receive more service.
What has Wagner said about him?
Speaking to the media about Pritchard, during his press conference ahead of the Bolton Wanderers FA Cup clash, Wagner said:
“I like him, but I have my doubts if he will play for us because I know how expensive British players are in this window”, and further commented that they have to be “reasonable prices.”
However, with these latest reports, it suggests that Wagner is certainly keen on signing Pritchard, and is prepared to increase his initial bids in order to secure him as a Town player by the end of January.