In what is proving a busy January transfer window for City, the first man through the door was an England youth international, heralded 'the new Messi'. Ryan Wilson takes a closer look at Marcus Edwards.
Norwich City completed the loan signing of Tottenham's 19-year-old winger Marcus Edwards last Friday, labelled as a possible replacement for outgoing Alex Pritchard.
The usual naysayers appeared immediately to boo and hiss at Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke's latest swoop, citing the lack of the reported £12m fee for Pritchard being reinvested, a gulf in inexperience and a short-term injury that would keep him out of the weekend's ultimately fruitless clash with Sheffield United.
While all of those points could yet be cited if Edwards fails to make the grade, it must be stated that many fans love to complain when every little thing isn't running smoothly within the club. Instead of jumping to knee-jerk conclusions, let’s do some research on our new signing in this glorious modern age of detailed information at our fingertips.
In doing so, one of the first quotes to pop up via search engines regarding this England under 20s international should be Mauricio Pochettino's comparison to one Lionel Messi back in 2016. At the time, many sat back and appreciated every word the Argentine spoke , given his excellent history of developing youth prospects.
Unfortunately, the young midfielder hasn't yet reached the heights Pochettino would have desired – he wouldn’t be dropping into the Championship if he had.
Why not? Well, the Spurs boss and his academy head coach John McDermott, while impressed with his low centre of gravity, ability to beat a man and end product, have been equally unimpressed with his attitude and problems with authority.
McDermott has spoke of a lack of determination to track back and aid his teammates too often, while several of his colleagues have been granted first team opportunities based on that factor.
In academy matches, Edwards has a strong record of 8 goals and 5 assists on the board in 15 UEFA Youth League and Premier League 2 matches. While that's impressive on the surface, it takes a great deal more to break into the first team of a Premier League club.
Upon his move, Pochettino said: "Marcus is a very talented player but now he is in a moment where he needs to move on to step up. An opportunity has arrived at a very good club who play very good football". Compliments galore from a coach being courted by some of the world's biggest sides.
Despite his flaws, Edwards offers the Canaries a great deal of positive options in which they lack right now.
In their strong FA Cup display at Chelsea, Daniel Farke's team broke on the counter several times, performing comfortably on the big occasion
Nonetheless, it took City 94 minutes to break down Chelsea's defensive wall. Their only direct threat on the break came from Josh Murphy, whose end product let him down on several occasions.
This story has become all too familiar for Farke's outfit, maintaining impressive possession rates throughout the season with a lack of instinct or spark to break the opposition down.
With electric acceleration and dazzlingly quick feet, Edwards is not afraid to run at his marker from either flank, excelling mostly cutting inside onto his favoured left foot from the right wing.
Farke will doubtless still expect a certain level of hard work and commitment when awarding the youngster chances, his unpredictable nature should make Edwards an asset should he hit his stride, whether that's from the first whistle or off the bench.
The former Dortmund II boss is fast developing a reputation for motivating young players, decreasing the average age of City's squad significantly in his reign.
Under the tutelage of the demanding German, this move could make or break the 19-year-old. Tottenham coaches often refer to Edwards's enormous potential, with the winger capable of becoming an England star should he perfect his overall game.
Should Farke unlock his talents and Edwards seize the opportunity in the quiet East Anglia environment, both parties will reap the rewards.
While you're here. Two things; first, did you know we have a new podcast? It's available via iTunes and Soundcloud. Alternatively you can just listen to it in your browser via our podcast page. Club legend Bryan Gunn was our recent guest as we debated the latest talking points regarding NCFC.
Second, to keep AlongComeNorwich advert free and to help us fund additional initiatives aimed at improving the Carrow Road atmosphere, we occasionally produce exclusive t-shirts/merchandise.
This time we've produced garments celebrating our rightful place as the Pride of Anglia. As always, we take no profit from these and put all the revenue back into the site and things we can all enjoy.