Norwich City, Comment: Wagner must utilise 21-year-old at Norwich City next season, but where to play him remains a mystery

Comment: Wagner must utilise 21-year-old at Norwich City next season, but where to play him remains a mystery

Norwich City endured a very poor 2022/23 season on the whole. And in truth, optimism for the 2023/24 campaign remains rather low.

Norwich City enter the summer without their star striker Teemu Pukki, and with other big name players looking like they could be moved on. It’s a pretty desperate time for Norwich City and David Wagner certainly has his back against the wall. But he has one player who looks ready to finally make his mark on the first-team in Bali Mumba.

The 21-year-old was signed from Sunderland back in 2020. He’s since gone on to make five league appearances for the Canaries, having spent out on loan at Peterborough United last season. But in the 2022/23 season, Mumba really shone. He played a key role for Plymouth in their eventual promotion to the Championship, featuring 41 times in the league, scoring six and assisting seven more.

He was named as the League One Young Player of the Season and earned himself a spot in the League One Team of the Season too, and whilst he looks like he’ll play a part for Norwich City next time round, what part that might be remains to be seen.

As a youngster, Mumba was a central midfielder. But for Plymouth he played in a left wing-back role, often playing on the right too. With Norwich looking like they could lose Max Aarons, Mumba could be the answer. But Wagner may also fancy Mumba on the left instead of the likes of Sam McCallum or Dimitrios Giannoulis.

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Norwich City, Comment: Wagner must utilise 21-year-old at Norwich City next season, but where to play him remains a mystery

Arsenal, Brentford (loan), Coventry (loan), Forest (loan), Hull (loan), Brighton (loan), Sint-Truiden (loan), PAOK, Middlesbrough, PAOK (loan).

For Mumba to thrive in this Norwich side like he did at Plymouth though, Wagner might need to change up his formation to a back-five, with attacking wing-backs. But whether or not Wagner would change his system to accommodate one player remains to be seen.

Wagner could yet opt to play Mumba in a more advanced role which could work, especially with the likes of Marquinhos seeing his loan spell come to an end. But it’s in a wing-back role in which Mumba prevailed and so that would take some adjusting for the youngster.

Mumba though is certainly an asset for the Canaries and if Wagner can get the best out of him next season, then he could yet become a key player for the club.

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