Norwich Looks To Transfer Market For Inspiration
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Norwich City has ventured into the transfer market this month in a bid to boost its chances of Premier League survival. Manager Daniel Farke has brought in Ondrej Duda from Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim's Lukas Rupp in hopes they will be able to help turn around the fortunes of the struggling Canaries.
Duda arrives on a loan until the end of the season, while Rupp was purchased outright for $570,000. Their signings continue the trend of Farke scouting the German leagues he knows so well; the two represent his 11th and 12th additions from Germany since his 2017 arrival.
Norwich found itself the victim of some trolling on Twitter by TSG Hoffenheim, which wished its departing player luck at "Premier League basement boys Norwich City."
Take care, #Ruppi!Lukas #Rupp has left Bundesliga club #TSG Hoffenheim with immediate effect to join Premier League basement boys @NorwichCityFC. pic.twitter.com/FRBeLRoscT
— TSG Hoffenheim EN (@achtzehn99_en) January 13, 2020
The move makes sense for both parties, though, as central midfielder Rupp has struggled for playing time this term having clocked just 397 minutes. Rupp missed the end of the 17-18 season and almost all of last term thanks to an ACL injury. He is now fully fit but struggled in the first half of the season to dislodge Sebastian Rudy and Florian Grillitsch from the starting 11.
While he is now an established central midfielder, Rupp began his career as a right winger and provides Farke with a versatile option. The Canaries have struggled for goals in general this season but their midfield has been particularly lacking in that regard, with seven center midfielders scoring just three goals between them. Norwich will be looking to Rupp to help produce a bit more offensively and return to the goalscoring form he kept up for Stuttgart and Paderborn before injury derailed his time at Hoffenheim.
Norwich has also potentially secured a gem in Slovakian No. 10 Ondrej Duda. Duda arrives having been out of favor with new Hertha manager Jurgen Klinsmann, but Farke will be hoping the Berlin club's loss can turn into Norwich's gain. Duda is a skillful, creative player with an eye for goal with the potential to invigorate the Canaries' faltering offense, with just 22 goals scored in as many games this term.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 19, 2018
Before joining Hertha, Duda was courted by national team captain Marek Hamsik in an attempt to link up at Napoli. When that move did not materialize, he moved to Berlin where he struggled with injuries in his first two seasons. Duda enjoyed his strongest season to date last campaign, finishing as Hertha's top goalscorer with 11 as well as six assists. Duda provides a threat from set pieces and can be counted on to make surging late runs into the box when not looking to thread a pass through to a teammate. He is a shrewd acquisition by Farke and the Norwich directors and will be relied upon to lighten the significant burden on Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell.
The Canaries have been proactive during this transfer window, and while Rupp and Duda should prove good additions, there is still work to be done. Norwich currently sports the worst defense in the league having shipped 45 goals already this term. The team sits eight points adrift of 17th-placed Watford and, having won just once in the league since November, can not afford to continue leaking goals at the back. A central defender should now be the top priority for Farke as he looks to cement his team's place in the Premier League for next season.