Norwich City are reportedly in the driving seat to acquire the services of out-of-contract Mainz player Jean-Paul Boetius this summer.
Boetius is set to leave Mainz this summer with his contract coming to an end this season. Norwich are reportedly leading the way for his signing, according to The Telegraph.
The Canaries will however not be alone in the battle as both Watford and Middlesbrough are also being linked with the 28-year-old.
The attacking-midfielder would be a viable option for Dean Smith’s team as they have lacked creativity throughout the season.
Boetius has appeared 34 times in all competitions this season. During the campaign, he has contributed to four goals and according to Who Scored has achieved an average rating of 6.54. On paper, this doesn’t seem like much but it is a very respectable rating for the Bundesliga.
WhoScored also says that throughout the season, the midfielder has averaged 0.7 shots per game and 0.8 key passes per game. In comparison to Billy Gilmour who has produced 0.9 shots per game and 1.2 key passes, Boetius’ numbers seem more respectable.
The 28-year-old has also been a part of the youth set-ups of his national team. He has featured from the under-17 level all the way to the senior squad where he has made one appearance.
Mainz’s sporting director, Christian Heidel, has spoken on where Boetius’ future lies. “We will have a conversation with him soon,” said Heidel to German outlet Kicker.
“In the past we didn’t necessarily have the impression that he definitely wanted to stay in Mainz.
“That could have changed now, and we’ll discuss it.
We need the players who can totally identify with Mainz and Mainz 05. Boetius was and is an important player.”
The assets Boetius possesses
The midfielder came to Mainz as a winger but during his time there he has shifted position to a much more central role. He is now much more of a playmaker and he is the pivotal point Mainz is based around.
The versatility he possesses is one of the key assets of his game, he can play anywhere across the attack and has performed well each time he is relied on.
Although he is positionally based up front, the midfielder also has solid defensive contributions that he utilises each game.
This brings us onto another asset, his defensive contribution. According to WhoScored, the midfielder has averaged 1.2 tackles per game and 0.7 interceptions. This further showcases his ability to perform at a high level anywhere on the pitch.
How Boetius would fit Dean Smith’s system
Gilmour has impressed when given the chance in the Norwich team this season. The Scottish midfielder however, is only on loan and will return to Chelsea this summer.
This leaves a hole in Smith’s plans as they plot a route back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Boetius, therefore, looks like a potentially-smart signing is his now favoured position of attacking-midfield.
And with funds tighter at Carrow Road following their demotion, the chance to land the Mainz man on a free would likely prove astute business.
Smith is expected to wheel and deal as he plots an immediate return to the Premier League. The Canaries boss is also being linked with two players from his former club Aston Villa, as we exclusively revealed.