Norwich City are willing to sacrifice another of their highly-rated individual talents ahead of what Daniel Farke insists will be a team effort of trying to win a second promotion in three seasons.
Having lost more than £15million in returned TV and ticket revenue earlier this year, at the end of a horrific Premier League relegation, they balanced the books with the sale of Jamal Lewis to Newcastle. But they need further funds to offset further reduction in income triggered by the drop in division and a lack of crowds during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Ben Godfrey, Todd Cantwell or Emiliano Buendia all coveted assets.
England Under-21 defender Godfrey has attracted most interest, with German giants Bayer Leverkusen long-term admirers. The former York player — the non-League club could net a £2m windfall via a 10 per cent sell-on clause agreed back in 2016 — started at the John Smith’s Stadium, along with midfielder Cantwell.
Norwich City are ready to sell their prize assets in order to recoup recent financial losses
Argentine playmaker Buendia, scorer of Norwich’s only goal in a wretched run of 10 consecutive defeats that preceded their top-flight exit, was suspended.
The visitors appeared to be going blank again, until Adam Idah emerged from the bench to score his first League goal — only Norwich’s second in 1,000 minutes of League action stretching back to February — after Huddersfield defender Richard Stearman needlessly coughed up possession to Teemu Pukki with a weak backpass.
These are tough times for Farke, though he is clearly not leaning on the German mentality within his squad to turn things around. In a re-shaping of personnel for the Championship, five players with Bundesliga experience appear surplus to requirements.
Josip Drmic, Moritz Leitner and Tom Trybull have not even received shirt numbers for 2020-21, while Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic didn’t make the bench.
Daniel Farke is facing a tough season in the Championship with players set to move on
Three experienced campaigners, with good knowledge of this division in Alex Tettey, Ben Gibson and Jordan Hugill, did — and Farke name-checked them in celebrating only a third opening day-win for Norwich in 22 years.
‘I am so pleased for all the lads,’ he said. ‘This was not about Adam, even though he will get some headlines. This was a win for the whole group. I knew how tough it would be. Huddersfield pressed us very well and we had to work hard but we kept our composure and to get that first win will do a lot for the group.’
There were words of praise too for Huddersfield — despite the failure to register a single shot on target — from their new coach Carlos Corberan, formerly righthand man to Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds.
‘The most important thing is to find the effort and energy that the Championship demands,’ he said, following his maiden League match as a No1, and the first of a campaign in which teams will be asked to play once every five days.