As another Transfer Window slams shut, Norwich City fans could be forgiven for feeling somewhat underwhelmed by their transfer business during January, albeit sticking to their principles under Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber.
Whilst the experienced duo of Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp have arrived from clubs in Germany, youngsters Sam McCallum and Melvin Sitti have signed contracts before being shipped back to their previous clubs on loan for the remainder of the season.
A delve into Germany and a promise to bring through young talent is the trademark of this Norwich era but does it hint a taste of preparing for the Championship? It was certainly a formula that worked at that level.
The two for now..
Both Duda and Rupp, on loan and a permanent signing respectively, have made solid starts to their Premier League careers. Duda was particularly impressive during the opening 45 minutes of his debut, whilst Rupp provides consistency.
Albeit early days, it still remains to be seen if the duo can make enough of a difference to the Norwich squad to forge a fight against relegation. The early signs are that Duda can provide a hint of magic, but may not be able to provide it regularly, whilst Rupp will be solid, if not necessarily sharp, after missing the entirety of the last campaign through injury.
The 29-year old could be more prevalent next season if he can remain fit.
Both midfielders, Norwich can already boast the likes of Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell as two of their more impressive players this season and it is questionable whether the new pair can provide more quality than the more established duo.
The two for then...
Into the final days of the Transfer Window and, as with every club, Norwich fans would have been hopeful of some high-profile business.
The next name through the door was Melvin Sitti, a 19-year old midfielder who only made his professional debut last July for FC Sochaux.
Signing a four-and-a-half-year contract, the energetic midfielder remains at the French club on loan until the rest of the season.
With Alex Tettey’s contract winding down, it could be that Sitti is seen as a long-term replacement for the current Norwich vice-captain. But, certainly in the short-term, Sitti is unlikely to provide any more quality than his experienced peer – a sign of preparing to rebuild for a season in the second tier?
And movement in the summer?
The Deadline Day signing of Sam McCallum is an even more interesting acquisition. Also 19, McCallum has shot up the ladder from non-league side Herne Bay, whilst being a part of Jamie Vardy’s academy, into the Coventry City starting eleven.
McCallum only made his professional debut little more than a year ago but has become an important feature of Coventry’s League One promotion challenge. Ironically, when he returns to Norwich from his loan spell, McCallum could face his old club in the Championship next year.
A left-back, again it remains to be seen where McCallum will fit into the Norwich squad. The Canaries boast two of the most talented young full-backs in the Premier League, whilst Sam Byram provides adequate cover as a summer signing and still only 26.
Whilst Norwich have fought off interest from Premier League clubs for 20-year old Max Aarons this winter, could the signing of McCallum be one of preparation for losing either the England Under-21 international or 22-year old Jamal Lewis in the summer if they are to be relegated?