Norwich City Opinion: Farke has pulled off a masterstroke by securing Mario Vrancic’s long-term future
The 30-year-old Bosnian international was in the last 12 months of his contract but the new deal should extend his stay at Carrow Road until the summer of 2021.
He was an influential figure in the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship this past season and the Canaries have acted quickly to ensure that the midfielder stays on as a part of their plans moving forward in the Premier League.
Norwich have already secured the long-term future of several of their first-team players following their promotion to the Premier League and Mario Vrancic has become the latest to join that crew.
The 30-year-old, who joined the Canaries from German Bundesliga side Darmstadt for a fee of around £650,000 back in the summer of 2017, has established himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s midfield under manager Daniel Farke.
Vrancic was one of the first names on Farke’s teamsheet in the 2017-18 season but he failed to justify his inclusion week in week out and registered only a goal and 2 assists in 35 appearances.
Those unimpressive returns prompted Farke to use him more as an impact player off the bench in the Championship this past season and the Bosnian finally proved his worth as a fine well-rounded creative central midfielder.
The 30-year-old lost his regular starting role last season but he would hardly have any complaints about that, given that the Bosnian international enjoyed an incredible upturn of form at Carrow Road, especially in the latter stages of the campaign when he made the headlines on a regular basis with some pure moments of magic.
Vrancic started only 14 games for Norwich in the Championship this past season and made another 22 substitute appearances from the bench but his returns of 10 goals and 7 assists look quite eye-watering, to be honest.
The 30-year-old’s stunning free-kick in the seventh minute of injury-time not only helped Norwich salvage a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at home but Vrancic’s exemplary strike also went down as one of the goals of the Championship in the 2018-19 season.
That was followed by another exceptional strike into the top corner in the 2-1 victory over Balckburn Rovers to confirm automatic promotion for the Canaries, whilst Vrancic’s low drive against Aston Villa on the final day at Villa Park sealed the EFL Championship title for Farke’s army.
Quite clearly, the Bosnian played a key role in Norwich’s success in the second-tier towards the end of the campaign and his upturn of form came at a time when the other players seemed to be running out of gas.
Hence, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that he was a key figure at Carrow Road the last term, despite featuring more from the bench.
Having plied his trade successfully in the Bundesliga for five seasons prior to his arrival at Carrow Road, Vrancic now looks set to have a shot at playing in the Premier League.
The left-footed creative box-to-box ace impressed in his 75 appearances for minnows like Paderborn and Darmstadt 98 in the German top-flight and Norwich are well within their rights to expect the Bosnian to play a significant role in the Premier League next term.
Vrancic took a bit of time to get to grips with the style of play prevalent in the Championship and it might be the same for him in the Premier League. However, given his quality on the ball, creativity, vision, good range of passing and tackling skills, one would expect him to make the step up in due course of time.
The 30-year-old is still a vital component of Norwich’s midfield alongside the likes of Kenny McLean, Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner and veteran Alex Tettey.
The Canaries have seemingly chosen to show a lot of trust in the players that got them promoted and, as opposed to fellow newcomers Aston Villa, who have opted for a complete squad overhaul by spending big, Farke looks content to stick around with his existing set of stars.
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That is another reason why Mario Vrancic’s new deal was always going to be a no-brainer for the club. All in all, the Bosnian midfielder looks to be a key part of Farke’s plans moving forward in the Premier League and his new contract should definitely please the fans at Carrow Road.