Why Norwich City should move for Sevilla starlet Joris Gnagnon
According to claims from Spanish newspaper Estadio Deportivo, as cited by The Eastern Daily Press, Norwich City have been credited with an interest in Sevilla defender Joris Gnagnon late in the summer window.
Norwich are not the only club tracking the 22-year-old centre-back, with fellow Premier League outfit Burnley also keeping close tabs on the player, The Eastern Daily Press understands.
The report claims that Gnagnon is not a part of new manager Julen Lopetegui’s plans for the upcoming season and Norwich are looking at a loan deal for the centre-back with an option to buy permanently.
Gnagnon only completed a £12million switch to Sevilla last summer from French side Rennes but he struggled to nail down a regular starting role in his debut season in Spain, making a total of 16 appearances in all competitions last term.
Born in France to parents of Ivorian descent, Gnagnon rose to prominence with his boyhood club Rennes, enjoying his Ligue 1 breakthrough in the 2015-16 campaign.
The talented youngster gradually came of age at Rennes and established himself as one of the key cogs of the club’s backline over the next couple of seasons, accumulating 79 appearances in all competitions before earning a move to the La Liga.
The 22-year-old has represented France at U-20 and U-21 levels but he remains eligible to represent both Ivory Coast and France at the senior international level.
Gnagnon switched his allegiance to Ivory Coast a couple of years back and was called up for national duty, although he is yet to be cap-tied.
Meanwhile, Norwich City haven’t made too many additions to their promotion-winning squad this summer, with Patrick Roberts, Sam Byram and Josip Drmic being amongst those to have come through the door at Carrow Road this summer.
However, manager Daniel Farke is seemingly looking to add more steel to his backline before Thursday’s transfer deadline, as evident from Norwich’s late interest in Joris Gnagnon.
Christoph Zimmermann, who is yet to fully recover from his knee surgery, has been ruled out for a few games at the start of the season, while the likes of Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose both had a few injury concerns in the pre-season friendlies.
To put things into perspective, Norwich are apparently a bit light in their centre-back options heading into the upcoming Premier League campaign and Farke needs to get his problems sorted out at the earliest before the season-opener away from home at Liverpool this weekend.
A fast, strong and agile centre-back with incredible ball-playing qualities, good anticipation, sharp reactions and an innate ability to break up the play with tackles and interceptions, Gnagnon might have struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at Sevilla in his first season, but he remains a highly-rated player with plenty of potential.
Still only 22, the Frenchman is very much in his formative years as a centre-back and the Canaries could have a future star on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his promise at Carrow Road in the years to come.
Norwich have already conducted a thorough U-23 recruitment drive this summer in a bid to supplement their youth ranks with quality young talent.
The likes of Charlie Gilmour, Daniel Adshead, Rob Nizet and Rocky Bushiri have all joined the development squad and one would expect to hear a lot more about them in the future.
However, the Canaries need to prioritize adding a few more players to their senior ranks before the deadline in a bid to add more depth to their defensive options, and Joris Gnangon looks capable of playing a significant role in the top-flight next season.
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With that in mind, Norwich should not hesitate to wrap up a deal for the promising 22-year-old centre-back in the next couple of days.