Norwich City face a dilemma over whether to cash in on one of their top players this summer or build their Premier League campaign around him.
The Canaries will ply their trade in England’s top division next season after storming to the Championship title. Club bosses decided to stick with manager Daniel Farke after relegation last term and is has paid off. The German tactician has guided them to 29 wins and nine draws and they are eight points clear of second-placed Watford.
A trip to Oakwell to face Barnsley will put the cap on a superb second-tier campaign and then the real hard work begins. Farke knows only too well how tough the Premier League is after finishing rock bottom in 2019-2020.
He will have to work hard over the summer to ensure he has the players to remain in the top flight. Only once since the Premier League begun have Norwich avoided immediate relegation.
That was in the 2012-13 campaign and they repeated the feat 12 months later. But that three-year cycle aside, the East Anglians have been the proverbial yo-yo club.
One man who has played a huge part in their success is attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia. The 24-year-old has started 38 league games for the Carrow Road outfit, scoring 14 goals.
He has also assisted many more and seems ready for another crack at the big time. Unsurprisingly, a number of clubs have taken note.
Footmercato are suggesting the former Argentina Under-20 ace is a target for Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Leeds United.
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Liverpool were linked just last month and Norwich have a big decision to make. An initial asking price of £20m has now risen to around the £40m mark.
That would be a significant inflow of cash for a club of Norwich’s size. Farke could use the money to strengthen other areas of his team.
But losing such an influential player would certainly unbalance the side and could be counterproductive.
Buendia with a point to prove
The former Getafe man made 36 appearances during Norwich’s relegation season. He was nowhere near as effective and, having scored just once, will look to put that right in 2021-22.
But it might be that the lure of potentially playing European football might turn his head. It is thought that Leeds may be at the front of the queue due to the influence of manager Marcelo Bielsa.
The Whites play an exciting attacking brand of football under his compatriot and that could be right up Buendia’s street. Whether or not it happens only time will tell but there are many puzzles to solve for both player and club before next season.