I have to admit I have a real soft spot for Norwich City. The Canaries seem like a club that is very family orientated and community active.
They are a proper football club, which in football is very rare nowadays.
For the past two seasons on the field Norwich have finished in comfortable positions in the Premier League, after consecutive promotions from League One.
No doubt, the fans have bigger ambitions than just to be comfortable in the top-flight next season.
There seems to be a real ambition about the club to progress. The club record signing of Holland international Rick van Wolfswinkel is something of a coup for the men from Norfolk. The striker arrives at Carrow Road, for a fee believed to be in the region of £8.5million.
Prior to agreeing a move to Norwich the striker was being linked with a move to the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. However, the Canaries won the race for the 24-year-olds signature.
Van Wolfswinkel fired home 20 goals last season in all competitions for a Sporting Lisbon side that finished seventh in the Portuguese top-flight. The previous season the striker found the net 25 times.
It is not difficult to see where his strengths lie. For the last four seasons, he has fired home 15 goals or more. This led to Van Wolfswinkel becoming hot property. His goalscoring record attracted interest from all over Europe.
However, nobody took the chance on the striker and their loss could very much be the Canaries gain. Van Wolfswinkel could be a very shrewd signing for the Canaries.
It does not look like Van Wolfswinkel will be Norwich’s only exciting signing this summer neither. According to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, Norwich have agreed a deal for highly-rated Sweden international Ola Toivonen.
The 26-year-old is in the last year of his contract and it is believed that the striker could cost the Canaries £3.5million. Toivonen is another forward that has attracted the interest of big clubs throughout Europe.
Liverpool were understood to be interested in signing the striker last summer, but were put off by PSV quoting them £12million for the fiery forward. It now looks like he is heading for the Premier League with Norwich.
Toivonen scored seven goals in 17 appearances in the Eredivisie last season. The Swede’s season was interrupted by a tendon injury that kept him out for over four months though.
Wigan’s Arouna Kone is understood to be another player that the Canaries are interested in signing. However, if reports are to be believed then the Ivorian international has his heart set on a reunion with former-boss Roberto Martinez at Everton.
Last season Norwich were the third lowest scorers in the Premier League behind Stoke and QPR. The 41 goals scored in 38 games meant that the Canaries had to be watertight at the back and for much of the campaign they were.
The lack of goals was a very evident problem last season. The signing of Van Wolfswinkel and the possible arrival of Toivonen should go a long way to solving that particular weakness next season.
Chelsea are believed to be interested in signing England keeper John Ruddy from the Canaries this summer. The Blues have been linked with a £5million move for the former-Everton keeper as back up for Petr Cech.
Ruddy is a good keeper, but he spent a large chunk of last season sidelined by injury. Replacement Mark Bunn did well in his absence and I do not think it would be the end of the world if the Canaries sold Ruddy and strengthened other areas of the team.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton is one of the nice guys of English football. Nobody has a bad word to say about the former-Spurs midfielder. It is good to see him getting results at Norwich, just as he did at Newcastle.
He is underrated as a coach, and proved that he can cut it in the top flight as a boss in his own right last season. Like all good bosses, Hughton has identified the weaknesses in his team and moved to resolve them this summer.
Norwich City as a football club deserves to be a good solid Premier League outfit. I have no doubts that the Canaries will build on last season and once again finish in midtable, maybe in the top ten.
With their summer transfer targets, the Canaries have sent out a message that the club want to move forward and progress. Norwich is an example of how a Premier League club should be run and I hope they are successful next season.
Where will Norwich finish the Premier League table next season?
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