Hours after swooping in with a last-minute bid, Norwich City have captured the signing of Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder and academy graduate Alex Pritchard. Pritch, 23, joins the Canaries and manager Alex Neil on a four year deal, with the amount of the transfer fee undisclosed.
Pritch’s destination is a bit of a surprise, since as of yesterday morning it appeared he’d be signing with former spurs player and coach Chris Hughton, now managing Brighton & Hove Albion. Norwich swooped in and matched Brighton’s bid, and apparently offered Pritchard higher weekly wages, which tipped the scales. While we don’t know exactly what Norwich’s bid was, Brighton’s was supposedly an up front fee of £2.5m with performance based escalators and additional fees equal to £8m, the price Tottenham valued Pritchard.
Norwich was relegated from the Premier League last season but got a lot of money in parachute payments from the Premier League. This probably puts them near the top of the list of Championship clubs, along with Newcastle, to promote back to the EPL next season.
Pritchard never got a chance to see if he could crack Spurs’ first team. One of the academy’s most promising prospects in his year, he was an England U21 international along with Harry Kane and he was tipped last year to be Christian Eriksen’s primary backup. But he injured his foot while playing in the U21 European Championships last summer and never regained his playing form after that. He went on loan to West Brom in the second half of last season, but despite being a fan favorite Tony Pulis rarely played him.
I believe Norwich are getting a heck of a player and for a good bargain. He’s already proven that he can excel at the Championship level after his great season with Brentford two years ago. If he can regain that form again, it’s quite possible Spurs will be facing Pritchard and Norwich in the Premier League as soon as next season.
Good luck, Pritch. I’ll be following your career with great interest.