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Can Norwich break into the top 10 this season?

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The start of the Premier League season is just over two weeks away, and all 20 teams are busy chopping and changing their squads, cutting loose ends and adding fresh faces as they look to keep up with the competition and finish as high in the table as they possibly can.

In a day and age when clubs are left with significantly emptier coffers after signing strikers, the acquisition of a proven goalscorer at a low price is a rarity, to say the least.

However, Chris Hughton recently added to the club-record signing of former Sporting Lisbon forward Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, by securing the purchase of the coveted ex-Spurs and Celtic man Gary Hooper for a transfer fee of all of £5 million, in a deal that should prove to be a complete steal over the course of the striker's three-year contract at Carrow Road.

The striker finally put pen to paper after months of speculation linking him with a move to the club, and will add significant firepower to a squad that previously had only two recognised strikers in van Wolfswinkel and January signing Luciano Becchio.

The acquisitions of midfielder Leroy Fer and promising English winger Nathan Redmond are also clear indications of Hughton's ambitions for the club, as Norwich look to improve on their 11th-place finish in the 2012/13 season, having missed out on a top-ten spot by just three points.

The signings of van Wolfswinkel and Hooper should mean that Norwich will be able to improve on their 25 goal-haul in the 19 home games. Carrow Road proved to be a tough place for Premier League teams to play at, as Hughton's men lost just 6 times all season there.

Norwich's away form was nothing short of abysmal, with the team winning just twice in the league on their travels, a record that begs for improvement.

Defensive recruits Javier Garrido and Martin Olsson will hopefully contribute to shoring up the team's relatively leaky defensive line, while offering a potent offensive threat down the left flank.

Despite the loss of talismanic striker Grant Holt to Championship side Wigan Athletic, Norwich boast a squad with enough talent to help cement their place in the upper mid-table, but the excellent work in the transfer window should add enough quality to the squad.

John Ruddy was a colossus in goal for the Canaries last season, and should be ably assisted by a back four of Sebastian Bassong, Michael Turner, Russell Martin and Olsson. The team's first choice midfield boasts the creative talents of Bradley Johnson and the highly-rated Wes Hoolahan.

Leroy Fer adds to the offensive-minded Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington, while Redmond's progress at the club will be monitored with great anticipation. Finally, van Wolfswinkel and Hooper will offer the incisive finishing ability up front that the hard-working Holt perhaps couldn't on a regular basis.

Chris Hughton's sides traditionally play exciting, purposeful possession football and are known for their fast-paced, attractive approach to the game, and this team looks like it should be able to come up with the goals at the end of the slick passing in midfield.

The likes of Southampton (Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama), Swansea (Jonjo Shelvey, Wilfried Bony) and West Brom (Nicolas Anelka) have all made clever signings and should be involved in a heated, season-long tussle for positions in the top-ten, but one wouldn't be too surprised if Norwich City snuck past them and ended the 2013-2014 season in the upper half of the Premier League table.

It will be exciting to chart the progress of Hughton's new signings and see whether they can help the squad fulfil its potential this season.

Exciting times lie ahead for Norwich City Football Club.

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Norwich City
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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