Comment: Norwich City can mitigate Buendia loss with Watford-linked 23-y/o
Norwich City have booked their return to the Premier League. But Daniel Farke looks set to lose a host of first-team names.
The Canaries have achieved an immediate return to the Premier League after another stellar season in the second-tier. They’ve won their second Championship title in three seasons and will be joined by Watford who finished in 2nd.
Norwich’s star of the season has been Emi Buendia. The Argentine claimed the Championship Player of the Season award for his 16 goals and 15 assists in the league this season, making himself a strong target of Premier League clubs.
Throughout the course of the season, Arsenal and Leeds United have been linked. Going into this summer, speculation has come to the fore once again and with two new suitors in the race in Aston Villa and West Ham. Farke might yet need to replace Buendia in the summer and there might be a perfect replacement already playing in the Championship.
QPR’s Ilias Chair has recently come into the headlines. The Athletic have linked him with a number of clubs in Belgium and Italy, and have also tipped Watford with an interest in the 23-year-old.
Over the course of the season just concluded, Chair featured in all but one of his side’s 46 league outings, scoring eight and assisting four. Throughout, Chair has been one of the most creative players in the league and should he have had the likes of Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell by his side, those numbers would undoubtedly be higher.
He’s a very similar player to Buendia – he’s got a low centre of gravity which makes him zip across the pitch, with his overall passing and forward-thinking game setting him apart from most in the league.
No price is know as of yet. With Watford and a number of teams being linked though, QPR could yet hold out for a bumper transfer fee with Chair tied down to a long-term contract as well.
Very few would be a like-for-like replacement for Buendia. Chair though is about as close as it gets and with some guidance from Farke, he could prevail at Carrow Road should the Canaries consider him this summer.