Deadline day abstinence reveals inner confidence

Posted by Paddy Davitt

In the not-too-distant past, Norwich City's transfer activity in the closing hours of the annual trading windows may have exhibited a degree of panic.

Tottenham youngster Harry Kane was whisked through the doors in the dead of night in what proved to be one of the final pieces of business in last summer's scramble. Kane's time in Norfolk was punctuated by foot surgery, but the on-loan Spurs' youngster will forever be remembered for spurning a golden chance to propel himself into the hearts of the Norwich support in the final act of a 0-0 Premier League home draw against West Ham in the faltering early days of Chris Hughton's reign.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty ImagesAll signs pointed to Jacob Butterfield's departure fro Norwich -- he was offloaded to Middlesborough in a permanent deal.

Go further back and former Peterborough defender Ryan Bennett diverted from a last-day dash to Swansea to be wooed by Paul Lambert at the club's Colney training base before City confirmed a deal had been struck for the ex-England Under-21 centre-back with minutes left in the January 2012 version.

Norwich were a bystander in Monday's rather anti-climatic whirl to a window that produced the biggest combined transfer outlay in the history of the Premier League; aided in no small measure by Gareth Bale unveiling as a 21st century 'Galactico' at Real Madrid. City made an enquiry for West Ham's out-of-favour forward Ricardo Vaz Te that was dismissed by the Upton Park hierarchy.

Jacob Butterfield was offloaded to Middlesbrough in a permanent deal that arguably suited both parties. The attacking midfielder never fully gained the trust of Hughton in a deal that smacked as a leftover from his predecessor prior to Lambert's hasty retreat to Aston Villa last summer. Hughton had hinted recently that Butterfield remained part of his plans, but a succession of loan spells painted a different picture.

City stuck true to the summer transfer philosophy which helped them recruit eight new faces in a successful attempt to deepen the reserves of quality at Hughton's disposal. Norwich's astute scouting was measured and strategic. There was no need for last-minute forays, frantic medicals or delicate financial negotiations. The move for Vaz Te was simply to provide cover down a right-flank which has been shorn of Elliott Bennett for numerous months after suffering knee ligament damage following the opening day Premier League 2-2 draw against Everton. Yet even here, Hughton confirmed ad nauseum over recent times he was happy to put his trust in those already under his command should exploratory moves fail to materialise.

Outside concerns over the perceived depth in City's central defensive stocks have been batted away from the manager. Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner were paired together for the first time in last weekend's Premier League win over Southampton following a summer disrupted by surgery, but Hughton is quick to offer Russell Martin's versatility as a counter-argument should either of his first choice succumb to injury or suspension. It is hard to argue with sound logic given Martin appears likely to operate in central defence for Scotland against Belgium on World Cup qualifying duty later this week.

Hughton will be judged by Norwich's ability to build on a first win of the new season over the Saints, but their abstinence in the final moments of the summer transfer window underlines those inside Carrow Road are confident of further progress.


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