Unremitting but Unimaginative: Why Norwich’s double Bundesliga swoop will just plateau performances
Duda has the technique but has he still got the talent? (Photo: Getty Images)

Bottom of the table and appearing destined for relegation, Norwich City need something drastic to save their season after a lacklustre opening two-thirds of the 2019-20 campaign.

With just 16 games to avoid relegation, they have swooped for Bundesliga duo Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp as Daniel Farke continues his trusted technique of scouring the homeland for potential talent.

But is the double signing ‘more of the same’ in a rusting formula that has not dented the steelworks of the Premier League? A deteriorating ploy that has seen sections of fans call for ‘Farke Out‘ in recent weeks.

Tough transition

The recruitment strategy worked a treat during Norwich’s Championship era. A dedicated commitment to European scouting, digging out hidden gems to shock the second tier of English football this time, last year.

No less than nine players made the trip from Germany to Carrow Road during Farke's early months in yellow, the likes of Onel Hernandez, Marco Stiepermann and Christoph Zimmermann key to their electric 2018-19 Championship season.

But, whilst Hernandez has shown glimpses of his talent in the Premier League , Stiepermann has been glued to the bench and Zimmermann, along with Mario Vrancic, blighted by injuries.

Marcel Franke played just five games for the Canaries during his tenure, whilst striker Dennis Srbeny, who returned to Germany this month, netted just three league goals in 35 matches. 

Moritz Leitner has not featured since October after a drab start to the campaign and Philip Heise has been shipped back to Germany on loan after a solitary EFL Cup outing. Meanwhile, Felix Passlack enjoyed just one Championship game during a loan spell and Ralf Fahrmann has featured just twice since signing in the summer.

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Out of form

For Norwich, the demand is for players to push them forward, improving not just the squad but also the starting eleven. It remains to be seen whether Duda and Rupp can provide that outcome.

Duda arrives on a loan deal from Hertha Berlin after an impressive season of 11 goals in 32 Bundesliga games during the previous campaign.

Yet, the attacking midfielder who scored for Slovakia against Wales during Euro 2016, has lost his form over recent months. The set-piece specialist who can draw fouls but also commit them has not completed 90 minutes since the beginning of September, out of favour with both club and country - he has not featured in 10 of the previous 12 Hertha games.

But there will be even more pressure on Lukas Rupp who signs from 1899 Hoffenheim on an undisclosed fee with a 30 month contract to his name.

The 29-year old has an average pass success rate of 83% this season but has featured in only nine games, five from the bench, failing to score or create a single goal. Versatile in midfield, Rupp has not played an entire game this season after missing almost the entire season with a cruciate ligament rupture between May 2018 and May 2019.

Rupp has missed 76 games through injury in the last eight years.

German efficiency at the top but not the bottom

There is an increasingly familiar pattern when it comes to players moving from Germany to the Premier League.

Many of those that move to the top teams tend to excel - Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Roberto Firmino, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to name but a few.

But for every Sane there is a Shinji Kagawa and for every De Bruyne there is a Henrikh Mkhitaryan...

Further down the table, the ability for those former players to make a successful transition from German football to the English game appears increasingly difficult.

Most recently, Joelinton has netted just once in 1,692 Premier League minutes after signing for Newcastle from Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Sebastien Haller has proved inconsistent following his move from Eintracht Frankfurt to West Ham.

Have Duda and Rupp really got the ability to turn the tide in East Anglia?