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Norwich City - Weekly Injury Update

Sadly, Moritz Leitner has been ruled out for the rest of the current Premier League season with a hernia problem.

Daniel Farke confirmed at his pre-Brighton and Hove Albion press conference that the Norwich City midfielder will require surgery on the issue and therefore be forced to miss the remainder of the the current season.

Coming out of the Arsenal match on Wednesday, there are no new injury concerns being reported ahead of the Brighton fixture.

The Canaries are boosted by the return of Timm Klose who missed the match on Wednesday through suspension following his sending off in the FA Cup versus Manchester United

Daniel Farke also provided an update at the press conference on the fitness of 2 other first team squad members, Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann.

"With Sam, it looks alright. He's on the right path but it will be 1/2 weeks whether we know if he needs surgery.

"The injections are working with Christoph, he's back on the training pitch. He may return to team training before the end of the season."

Liverpool Reportedly Keen On Norwich City Rising Star Todd Cantwell

It looks a matter of when, and not if, the vibrant midfielder will move on to pastures new in a pattern similar to James Maddison and others in recent years.

While Cantwell has failed to replicate the stunning form he showed at the start of the season during 2020 so far, he gave everyone a timely reminder of the raw talent he possesses with a brilliant goal against Manchester United at the weekend.

Dubbed an ‘exceptional, exceptional talent’ by former Canaries frontman Chris Sutton, Cantwell quite literally has the world at his feet.

Liverpool are reportedly keen on the young attacking midfielder, with Adam Lallana departing Anfield at the end of the season and Xherdan Shaqiri expected to follow.

Norwich are believed to value Cantwell at around the £30m mark, and while he is contracted to them until 2022, relegation to the English second tier would almost certainly spell the end of his Carrow Road tenure.  As an Academy player Cantwell was persued for a long period by Arsenal who were the first to spot what Norwich had.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it no secret of his desire to build a squad of young, hungry, British players at Old Trafford – and Cantwell would certainly fit into that mould.

How Former Norwich Captain Turned Round His Middlesboro Career To Earn New Deal

If you ask Middlesbrough supporters who has been their player of the season this campaign, many would give you the same answer.

At most clubs, fans would probably reply with their top goalscorer or an influential midfielder who is regularly in the thick of the action.

Yet Boro’s standout performer Jonny Howson hasn’t been either of those this term. For the most part, he’s been used in an unfamiliar position on the right side of defence.

The 32-year-old has regularly provided a solid option at full-back, and even impressed as a right-sided centre-back when the Teessiders were short of options.

He may have lost a yard of pace since then, yet the player’ professionalism and football intelligence has shone through in a struggling side this season.

That’s why Sunday’s news that Howson has signed a one-year extension at the club was hugely wecomed on Teesside.

Howson hasn’t always been such a popular figure during his Boro career, though, and was heavily criticised following his £5million move from Norwich in the summer of 2017.

Expectations were high at that point following the arrival of Garry Monk, so Howson’s inclusion ahead of popular duo Grant Leadbitter and Adam Clayton, the midfield pairing who helped Boro win Championship promotion in 2016, opened him up to stick.

“I’m not on social media, so that was a blessing. Of course I was aware of it,” Howson told the Football League Paper in 2018 when asked about the criticism he received from fans.

“It’s probably the first time in my career I’ve been singled out like that, and it is hard.”

He added: “The only thing that upset me - and this isn’t something I’ve really spoken about before - was the way it affected my family. I’m paid to take stick but they aren’t. My parents were up there in the stands. So were my wife and children. They’re having to hear people shouting things about me. OK, it wasn’t over the top, but it wasn’t nice.”

Howson’s performances did improve under Monk, and the midfielder scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday a day before the manager’s sacking.

Yet Howson’s importance grew further following Tony Pulis’ appointment at the Riverside.

In his second season at Boro, Howson played in all 46 Championship fixtures, starting 44 of them, as the midfielder’s all-round attributes came to the fore.

Towards the second half of that season, Howson was also deployed on the right of midfield, with John Obi Mikel, Mo Besic, George Saville, Lewis Wing, Paddy McNair and Clayton all available in the middle of the park.

Still, Howson’s contributions weren’t underestimated.

“Jonny’s been outstanding, he’s just a great pro,” said an admiring Pulis in January 2019, just over a year after his appointment at the Riverside.

“You can play him in the middle of midfield, he does brilliant, if you play him out wide, he does smashing. He gives everything.”

Howson’s versatility has proved a strength to keep him in Boro’s starting XI, yet perhaps it’s also hindered him as he’s been asked to move from his best position.

Boro’s sluggish recruitment process last summer meant Howson was one of the club’s only options at right-back when the season began.

Anfernee Dijksteel arrived from Charlton but, despite a few signs of promise, never really settled before suffering a lengthy knee injury in November.

Djed Spence’s emergence in December gave the squad a more natural option on the right side of defence, yet former head coach Jonathan Woodgate seemed reluctant to play the teenager on the right of a back four, instead using him as a wing-back.

Howson, on the other hand, has been trusted to play almost any position this campaign and, despite the odd difficult afternoon against a pacey Championship winger, he could never be accused of letting anyone down.

On the face of it, Howson may not come across as the most vocal or demonstrative character but he’s always been described as someone who leads by example.

“He’s versatile but he’s more than that,” said Woodgate earlier this season. “He’s a leader in the dressing room. He leads by example and players like that are vital to any squad.”

Woodgate, who was replaced as Boro boss by Neil Warnock last week, seemed confident Howson would sign a new deal before the season was suspended, yet contract talks were put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the end it’s fitting that Howson finally put pen to paper after an admirable display in central midfield during Warnock’s first game in charge.

Former Norwich City Favourite Jamie Cureton Finds 21st New Club

Former Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton has joined Enfield FC, the 21st club of his career.

Cureton has signed for the Essex Senior League side after departing Hornchurch FC following a career spanning all across the professional game and English non-league.

He started his career at Carrow Road, playing in the Premier League for the canaries before falling out of favour at Norwich and embarking on a a loan spell at Bristol Rovers which they opted to turn permanent. He stayed at Bristol for four years, scoring 72 goals in 174 appearances.

Following spells at the likes of Reading, QPR and Swindon Town, he has now signed for Enfield in a player/coach capacity.

Cureton tweeted following the announcement and said: "Delighted to sort out my future for the season ahead. Joining a club on the up, so impressed with the plans on and off the field. Cannot wait to get going. Hoping to add value playing and coaching."

With all grass roots football currently suspended, the Canaries legend will have to wait a little longer to get back out on the pitch.

Cureton made his 1000th career appearance in April last year when playing for non-league side Bishop's Stortford and is showing no signs of slowing down following the incredible milestone.

Speaking about his long career, he said: "I don't think I've changed too much. I've always tried to stay very grounded and really want to enjoy football, no matter where I was playing or who I was playing for. That's what's helped me keep going, I've never thought I'm too big or too good, I've just embraced it.

Norwich v Tottenham Friendly Scheduled for this week

Norwich City are reportedly set to play a friendly game with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur this coming Friday according to the Daily Telegraph.

With the resumption of the Premier League and Norwich being set to play their first competitive game of the re-start on Friday 19th June, time is running out for sides to get themselves some match fitness before the action starts.

Norwich and Spurs have played three times this season, with both of their league games out of the way, leaving them free to take advantage of a friendly game. The Canaries played out a controversial 2-2 draw with Spurs at Carrow Road in December, when Teemu Pukki had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR by the most pathetic of small margins. It was actually his hand offside, a part of the body he couldn’t score with anyway but there you go.

Norwich then lost 2-1 at the new Spurs stadium in a quick return in January before beating Tottenham there in the FA Cup via a penalty shootout a month later to set up a quarter-final with Manchester United, now set for 27th June.

Former Norwich Winger Attracting Interest From Portman Road

Anthony Pilkington played under the current Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert at their local rivals Norwich City.

And with his current contract at Championship side Wigan Athletic scheduled to expire at the end of this month it is understood he could he reunite with his former manager at Portman Road.

Pilkington, who is 32 years old, and is set to become a free agent as things stand,  will have to weigh up his options over the summer.

The goal scoring winger arguably fits the bill for Ipswich. He is experienced, proven in League One and would add more depth and options to their attacking department for next season.

The question is could the Tractor Boys’ faithful welcome him with open arms despite his Norwich connection?

Pilkington was signed by Lambert for Norwich in the summer of 2011 and went onto make 82 appearances, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, including playing a key part in Norwich's unexpected Premiership win away at Manchester United.

Norwich Right Bax Max Aarons Continues To Attract Interest from Tottenham

Tottenham have been handed a potential boost in the race to sign Norwich City’s Max Aarons after Arsenal are said to be unlikely to make a move this summer, according to Goal.

It is believed Spurs are long-standing admirers of the young right-back and are interested in bringing the 20-year-old to North London

However, the Daily Mail report Norwich value the right-back at around £30million and could even keep that price tag on Aarons if they are relegated to the Championship.

Aarons has made 27 appearances in the Premier League this season and recorded two assists.

Since Kieran Trippier’s departure last summer, Spurs have looked weak in the right-back position after deciding not replacing the Englishman when he left for Atletico Madrid.

The report suggests due to the hefty price tag on Aarons it is more likely the Gunners will turn their attention to Southampton’s Cedric Soares on a permanent deal.

The view from White Hart Lane is that Aaron’s could be a great long-term buy.

Norwich Chief: "the wealth has definitely taken over"

Stuart Webber has admitted the primary reason the Premier League is set to return is down to money.

City’s sporting director has claimed that it felt like wealth was the driving factor behind the league’s scheduled return later this month, with the clubs forced to make the environment safe around those plans.

The Canaries season will resume on June 19 with a behind closed doors fixture against Southampton, over three months since their last game against Sheffield United in March.

Despite health concerns, Webber admits wealth was behind the decision to return.

“Certainly, the wealth has definitely taken over. I’ve heard ‘health before wealth’, it’s definitely not, it’s the other way round,” he said.

“However, that’s the world we live in and that’s the business that we’re in so what we have to do is, if it is the wealth first, then we’ve got to make it as safe as possible around that.

“I think that we, the other clubs and the Premier League have done that. So, I do think it will be safe to return unless a second pandemic kicks off but let’s go on the positive side of things and say that doesn’t happen. I think it will be safe but there’s been a lot of work for that by a lot of people.”

City’s financial approach has been met with frustration from some supporters - but City’s chief thinks the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how badly some clubs in the football pyramid are being run.

“What’s probably happening at the moment, right underneath our nose and I don’ mean in the Premier League but probably the Football League, is it’s coming home to roost that certain clubs and organisations have been run incredibly badly,” he told Radio Five.

“As soon as the tap’s turned off in terms of income, they get in trouble really quickly. I’ll be gobsmacked if that affects anyone of us (in the Premier League) to that extreme because we’re incredibly fortunate with the levels of TV revenue we get way overpasses anything that we’d get through supporters.

“For us to not have the supporters in is a big hit financially but nowhere near as big as any sort of large TV rebate - the biggest hit with us not having supporters in is, football without the fans, what’s the point?”