Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images
Norwich City have signed Gabriel Sara from Sao Paulo, who Dean Smith could give a debut to on the opening day of the upcoming Championship season at Cardiff City come July 30.
The Canaries raise the curtain for the new campaign in south Wales looking to secure their immediate return to the Premier League. Smith was unable to stop the Carrow Road outfit from falling straight back into the second-tier last season after taking charge in November.
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New signings have been thin and far between in Norfolk so far this summer, with Sara only one of two additions secured. Smith paid Sao Paulo an initial £6m to bring the 23-year-old to England earlier this month, in a move which could rise up to £13m including all add-ons.
Photo by Silvio Avila/Getty Images
Norwich sign Gabriel Sara from Sao Paulo for second summer swoop so far
But what Smith has been able to do is retain a host of players who helped Norwich win the Championship title in 2020/21. The Canaries ran away with the league that season with 97 points, a club-record tally, to win a second crown in three seasons after the 2018/19 term.
Norwich remain interested in further reinforcements, though, as Smith also looks to cover for the loss of multiple options. Christoph Zimmermann is the latest player to leave Carrow Road after signing for 2.Bundesliga outfit Darmstadt, having won the Championship twice.
So, with Sara’s signing from Sao Paulo marking two through the door and more hoped for, what could Smith’s line-up look like on the opening day when Norwich pay Cardiff a visit?
Tim Krul (GK): Netherlands international back from injury in time for Cardiff
Tim Krul made his first start of pre-season as Norwich beat King’s Lynn Town earlier in the month after returning from injury. The Netherlands international had sustained a knock in training while with his nation in June, but should be in shape to start at Cardiff on July 30.
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images
Max Aarons (RB): Norwich braced but no suitor on the scene to sign defender
Norwich started the summer braced to sell Max Aarons, per TEAMtalk, after the right-back endured a second relegation. But no club has yet swept for the right-back, despite interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and City, following his two assists in 35 games last term.
Ben Gibson (CB): Dean Smith has so far kept a key part of Norwich backline in place
Smith has so far kept a key part of the Norwich backline in tact with Ben Gibson still at the club. The 29-year-old made 27 appearances amid the Canaries’ last Championship title win and would also feature 28 times in the Premier League last term after making the step up.
Grant Hanley (CB): Norwich captain to target his fourth Championship title
Grant Hanley will eye his fourth Championship title, and third with Norwich, when the new season starts at the end of the month. The Canaries captain has regularly been a mainstay of the Carrow Road backline since joining in 2017, amassing 142 appearances for the club.
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Dimitris Giannoulis (LB): Dean Smith to give Greek new life after transfer failure
Smith will likely give Dimitris Giannoulis the early call to start at left-back, having missed out on a potential target. TEAMtalk reported that Norwich were interested in signing Matthew Sorinola earlier on in the window, but he has since joined Swansea on loan from Union SG.
Isaac Hayden (CDM): Dean Smith waiting on injury return of first summer signing
Smith is waiting for Isaac Hayden to return from injury to start when Norwich visit Cardiff. The midfielder is yet to feature for the Canaries since signing on loan from Newcastle, with a criteria-based obligation to buy, after suffering a setback in his recovery from knee surgery.
Gabriel Sara (CM): Norwich agree club-record deal to sign Sao Paulo midfielder
Norwich have signed Sara from Sao Paulo in a deal which could become a club-record fee on a four-year contract. The Brazilian is able to play in a raft of positions, but is expected to occupy a central role in a 4-3-3 with Smith feeling the system is best for the Championship.
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
Tino Anjorin (CM): Norwich interested in Chelsea gem set for loan transfer
Norwich are among a clutch of clubs interested in signing Tino Anjorin, with the midfielder set to leave Chelsea on loan. Adam Newson of football.london notes Smith is battling QPR, Coventry and Huddersfield for the 20-year-old, who spent time with the Terriers last term.
Marlos Moreno (RW): Norwich among clubs interested in Manchester City man
Norwich are among a clutch of clubs interested in signing Marlos Moreno after his return to Manchester City, per AS. Bristol City and Sunderland have also submitted offers to the Colombian, who is open to a Championship spell after a loan deal to KV Kortrijk last term.
Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images
Teemu Pukki (ST): Norwich to fight off Premier League interest in star striker
Smith is determined to see Norwich fight off Premier League interest in star striker Teemu Pukki this summer. “He’ll be staying, certainly,” the Canaries boss said, via the Pink Un, in reply to comments his agent made to MTV Urheilu hinting that the Finn wanted to leave.
Todd Cantwell (LW): Blackburn target hints at desire to stay with Norwich
Todd Cantwell has hinted he is keen to stay at Norwich this summer, despite interest from Blackburn Rovers. The midfielder put on Instagram earlier this month: “It was really special to play on my old stomping grounds, in fact meant a lot more to me than people will think.”
The post Gabriel Sara among 4 signings in Norwich City XI for opening day at Cardiff City appeared first on Ladunblog.
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