Uncovering hidden gems will remain a crucial part of Norwich City’s transfer strategy, and despite the Premier League’s high fees, it is still possible to find top-notch bargains.

There have been many high profile and expensive flops over the years.

Newcastle broke their club record to sign Hoffenheim’s Joelinton for £ 40million in 2019. The Brazilian striker has scored just six goals in 68 Premier League games.

That same summer, West Ham also broke their club record when they signed striker Sebastien Haller for £ 45million. The Frenchman scored a slightly better 10 goals in 48 Premier League games before being loaned to Ajax.

Last year Sheffield United set a club record of £ 23.5m against Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster and £ 18.5m against Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before returning to the championship.

On the other hand, N’golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez are preparing for the Champions League final. Players with whom Leicester made huge profits after their brilliant 2016 Premier League title win.

Kante was signed in the summer of 2015 after the defensive midfielder’s first season in the top French league with Caen as a 24-year-old for £ 5.6million. After a brilliant campaign, sold for £ 32million, he won the Premier League again with Cheslea in 2017 and was a key part of the French team that won the World Cup in 2018.

Mahrez was reportedly signed for just £ 400,000 as a 22-year-old playing for Le Havre in the French second division when Leicester was in the middle of its 2013-14 championship campaign. The exciting winger was finally sold to Manchester City for £ 60million in 2018 and has won two more Premier League titles.

They’re the exception rather than the rule, but there are other examples of bargains going on in the Premier League right now.

Ayoze Perez has just won the FA Cup with Leicester. The Spaniard is said to have cost Newcastle just £ 1.5m when signed by Tenerife in 2014 and eventually sold for around £ 30m.

Brighton signed Pascal Gross for around £ 1.8m after his promotion in 2017 and was signed from Ingolstadt at the age of 26. The German midfielder played a key role in helping the Möwen establish themselves in the top division and scoring 15 goals in 125 Premier League games.

Pascal Gross of Brighton & Hove Albion and Todd Cantwell of Norwich in action during the Premier Lea

Pascal Gross has helped Brighton establish itself in the Premier League
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.

Even with £ 8m from Hull in 2017, Liverpool fans would surely say left-back Andrew Robertson was a serious bargain. The Scottish captain made almost 200 appearances in four seasons, winning the Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup.

Free transfers are also available, but these are usually different scenarios when a player has chosen to cancel their deal to explore their options, or when they fail to meet their club’s requirements.

Norwich, of course, had success with free agents when they signed Teemu Pukki and Tim Krul in 2018, though the gambling on Josip Drmic didn’t pay off after the 2019 promotion.

Emi Buendia is probably the best example of a transfer deal at City in recent years. Getafe reportedly received £ 1.5m in bonuses initially and around £ 5m after the promotion. Now, the reigning championship player of the season is on the verge of becoming an Argentina international and has a valuation of around £ 40m, with interest from larger clubs expected.

James Maddison and Ben Godfrey were slightly different stories in that they were signed up as teenagers and took a few years to develop before they broke through and were sold at huge profits.

“Bargain” was certainly the word used to describe full-back Sam Byram in the 2019-20 period before his injuries returned. The main reason City was able to sign him for £ 750,000 from West Ham.

Erik Pieters of Burnley and Sam Byram of Norwich in action during the Premier League game at Turf M.

Sam Byram turned out to be a bargain for Norwich before his injury problems returned
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.

If the 27-year-old can recover after two thigh surgeries of over a year, he could improve Daniel Farke’s options very soon.

After being promoted in 2019, the Canaries in the region spent £ 8.5 million on transfers, with the signing of Byram alongside the loans from Ibrahim Amadou, Ralf Fahrmann and Patrick Roberts, and the arrival of Lukas Rupp and borrower Ondrej Duda in the January.

This was also coupled with a host of new contracts, promotion bonuses, and the arrival of Drmic. So after jumping straight back to top tier town, expect to be able to spend more this season – despite a £ 30m loss to the Covid-19 pandemic and around £ 15m already made to the Signing by borrowers Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis has been promised, especially if one of the star assets is sold for a hefty fee.

However, when it comes to the Premier League, it is still the smaller fee bargains that the Canary Islands in general will focus on.

Offers such as the initial £ 16million Crystal Palace paid for signing QPR winger Ebere Eze or the £ 16million Aston Villa paid for right-back Matty Cash in Nottingham Forest last summer are examples of the price for championship talent where Villa paid around £ 30m to bring Brentford’s Ollie Watkins forward.

The new Brexit restrictions on work permits have also given local talent a bonus and made it more difficult to sign foreign players who are not established internationals for a country that is in the top 50 of Fifa’s rankings.

We have seen the City recruiting team have found excellent value for money with several players over the past few years. You will have to re-produce the goods if Farke is to upgrade its roster for the Premier League Challenge.