Brighton and Hove Albion’s new signing Oliver Norwood shouldn’t take too long to adapt at the south coast club, as he is a player who fits the mould of manager Chris Hughton’s way of playing perfectly.
The Northern Ireland international signed from Championship rivals Reading on a three-year deal, and could make his debut for the Seagulls against Derby County in this weekend’s Championship opener.
Norwood, 25, is a defensive midfielder who likes to dictate the play and spring the forwards into counter attacks through his vast range of passing.
The former Manchester United youngster is also a fine set piece taker, and his deliveries from corners and free kicks could offer something different for Brighton going into the new season.
Some see this move as a bad omen, and feel that the consequence of this signing will be the departure of Dale Stephens. The box-to-box midfielder has been on Burnley’s wishlist all summer but there is no reason why Norwood, Stephens and Beram Kayal can’t all play in the same team.
Hughton may decide to switch from his traditional 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 formation. This would allow Norwood and Kayal to play alongside each other, with Stephens in a more advanced position.
In his first interview with the Argus, Norwood insisted that it was Chairman Tony Bloom and his determination to keep all of Albion’s in demand players at the club was key to him signing the contract.
This is positive news to hear, after the most recent speculation linked Anthony Knockaert with a move north to Newcastle United.
Bloom, like the manager and players, is as determined as ever to finally get this club into the Premier League, and keeping the star players during the transfer windows is the first little step towards that.
He may not be an Alex Pritchard, nor an attacking midfielder who will score 10+ goals for us this season, but Norwood didn’t cost eight million pounds to buy, and with just under 200 appearances in this league, he knows the Championship like the back of his hand.
With just under four weeks to go before the transfer window slams shut, fans will be hoping to see more new faces come through the doors in the coming days.