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David Wagner appears to have eventually got his man as Huddersfield Town have wrapped up the signing of £12million man Alex Pritchard from Norwich City. The Terriers’ German manager has been a long-time admirer of the 24-year-old former England under-21 international and has made it his intention to the ex-Tottenham man to have him at the John Smith’s Stadium for some time.
With the relegation race well and truly on, Wagner knows that he cannot take his position lightly and has acted quickly to beef up his squad for the remainder of the Premier League campaign. After an encouraging start, Huddersfield have now won only once in their last 12 Premier League games, though they do sit 14th in the table at present.
Eddie Howe of Bournemouth was also apparently interested in the midfielder, though it seems it is the newly-promoted side who have won the race to sign him up. It is believed that Pritchard will sign a three-and-a-half year contract with the Terriers and is now fit enough to get involved immediately, having missed 18 Championship games after an ankle surgery last year.
He starred in recent games though, playing extremely well in the Canaries’ creditable 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the FA Cup. Pritchard has played half of his games down the right of Norwich’s midfield this term and a half of it down the left, though it is unclear as yet, as to where Wagner sees as his best position in the Huddersfield set-up.
Using Rajiv van La Parra as a comparison though; the winger played mostly down the left of the 4-2-3-1 formation for the Terriers in the Championship last season, earning an average score of 6.84 on whoscored.com while Pritchard is currently scoring 7 in the same league.
Tom Ince likes to play on the right or in the centre of that sort of line-up but sadly predictably, he has not really hit the heights at this level this season after shining in the second tier for Derby County. So perhaps Pritchard will take his place in the team.
Both Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers secured promotions last season from League One playing almost exclusively English speaking players and in the Blades’ case they have carried on improving with that structure and are looking to secure a promotion playoff place.
Wagner, despite having a few of his fellow countrymen in the set-up at the John Smith’s, also appears to appreciate the importance of having English players in an English league and so Pritchard’s signing is another good step in the right direction for the Yorkshire side.