Dean Smith was announced this morning as head coach at Norwich, with his assistant Craig Shakespeare, and will be looking forward to getting stuck into his first week ahead of the return of the Premier League season on Saturday.
Smith has spoken out upon his appointment, and is already impressed by the opportunity for development at the club;
“I’ve always worked to improve and develop players – with that obviously comes improved performances. I was really impressed with the idea, structure and vision that is already in place at the club.”
One player who will be thrilled with the appointment of the new manager is Todd Cantwell, who has spent the last few weeks snubbed by former manager, Daniel Farke.
Farke spoke briefly about not including Cantwell in his team; “Sadly I have to say with Todd the last couple of months I can’t remember one full training week when he was available for the full week.”
Smith will be looking to unlock the bags of young potential at Norwich City, with a host of young players including Cantwell, Billy Gilmour, Max Aarons, Adam Idah and Andrew Omobamidele.
The 50-year-old Norwich manager could instantly solve a set of instant issues, however by unleashing the player dubbed a “God-given” talent by his former youth coach, Gary Cockaday, as there seems to be a current disconnect in the link-up play in the attacking third, which has seen the side only score five goals in eleven games so far this season.
The £16k-per-week local talent has been a stand out performer and attractive prospect for the Canaries with 107 appearances, 14 goals and 12 assists, becoming a key player for them in their promotions from the Championship and Premier League campaigns so far.
Smith and his team are likely to face competition to keep Cantwell at the club, as his contract expires in the summer of 2022, and there haven’t currently been advanced talks for the midfielder to sign a new contract with the Canaries. That, it would seem, is a pretty hefty issue for the new boss to deal with upon his arrival.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa have all been previously linked with the Norwich star, and if Smith can get the youngster in a good run of form, there is no doubt that top-flight clubs will make more enquiries in the January transfer window and as he reaches the end of his contract.
The club’s new manager will lead Norwich City out to host Southampton at Carrow Road this weekend, and it will be interesting to see how the former Brentford boss sets up his team and if he includes youngsters like Cantwell and Gilmour in his team. Not only would playing him more regularly improve the team, but it might also boost their hopes of keeping him at the club.
That would mean two problems immediately solved by Smith and Shakespeare.