Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa were all promoted from the Championship last season. We look at how Norwich did it, what they will bring to the Premier League and how they can strengthen over the summer.

 

The 2018-19 story…

 

Norwich were not expected to challenge for promotion last season.

 

After the sale of key man James Maddison, many outsiders predicted a bottom half finish while top 10 would have been a positive campaign.

 

Instead, Farke’s fledglings won a surprise promotion, ultimately with relative comfort, before beating Sheffield United to the title on the final day, lifting the trophy at Villa Park.

 

Sporting director Stuart Webber stuck with head coach Daniel Farke throughout underwhelming football and results the previous campaign.

 

The German gaffer was given the summer to reduce the average age of the squad, blood academy graduates like right-back Max Aarons and introduce exotic talents like attacking midfielder Emi Buendia, while 29-goal top scorer Teemu Pukki was just about the best free signing a club could make.

 

 

Norwich’s success represented a victory for good football, for promoting youth – but it was also a sign of what can happen in life if you devise a strong plan, believe in it and stick to it.

 

What they’ll bring…

 

Of their current squad, only Tim Krul, Timm Klose and Alex Tettey have tasted Premier League football – Klose and Tettey were out of the XI for the second half of last season.

 

Webber has never worked at that level of football, nor has Farke.

 

Some outsiders will perceive that to be a weakness, but it could just as easily be a strength.

 

Part of the reason there has been such a sizeable gap between the ‘big six’ and the rest is that the financial disparity lends itself to a narrative that newly-promoted clubs must compromise their principles – add more experience, play more defensively – to merely survive.

 

Norwich though know only the methods that have brought them success – they have no experience of the top flight’s status quo, so why would they play by it?

 

The Canaries will bring positive energy, a different outlook and plenty of quality to boot.

 

Summer targets…

 

Keeping hold of Aarons and left-back Jamal Lewis will be a challenge, because their talents will appeal to wealthier Premier League competitors.

 

Retaining Emi Buendia will be vital, but even if the amazing Argentine stays they may need more depth out wide; a loan deal for Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts will help.

 

 

Norwich’s budget is unlikely to allow for the additions of experienced Premier League performers – and unknown gems are unlikely to get regular football over the players that inspired promotion.

 

For that reason, the summer will be largely about keeping the existing squad in place and replacing any players who depart.

Norwich City odds:

To Be Relegated

To Stay Up

Top Half Finish

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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