Aston Villa must sign Emi Buendia’s former Norwich City teammate Todd Cantwell this summer amid David Norris’ transfer claim.
Reports from The Telegraph last summer suggested that Dean Smith’s side were weighing up a potential move for the Canaries midfielder, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the window.
Recent weeks saw Football Insider claim that Villa are actually in advanced talks with Norwich over finally luring Cantwell to Villa Park, with growing confidence that a deal can be done.
In response to the links and the possible price tag, Norris admitted the winger could go for a ton of money considering Ben White’s departure to Arsenal.
He told Football FanCast: “Yeah I think you’ll see that quite a bit, the money’s gone crazy. The Brighton centre-half going for big dough, and I think with younger players, and what’s happened traditionally in the past especially if their British, the price seems to be even higher.”
Described as someone with a “God-given” talent by his former youth team coach Gary Cockaday, Cantwell was a team-mate of Buendia for the Canaries, and they could rekindle that partnership at Villa Park.
Former Norwich striker Dean Ashton raved about the 23-year-old, saying: “When I first saw him I said to Darren Huckerby, ‘how is that lad not training with the first-team?’. He was incredible. The way he was drifting past players. His speed of thought and his awareness. He’s just a wonderful player.”
Last season saw Cantwell average an impressive 1.6 dribbles per game which ranked him joint-top among the rest of Norwich’s squad (Buendia being the other).
The attacking midfielder also featured in the top three for Norwich for both key passes and shots per game in the Championship too, another indication of just how influential he is whenever he gets on the ball.
The £19.8m-rated Cantwell has the ability to unlock defences with a bit of skill or trickery, and given his previous relationship with Buendia, he would surely fancy his chances of striking up that same partnership in a new team too.
Smith could recreate a magic duo at Villa by signing Cantwell this summer.