Norwich City Opinion: Ralf Fahrmann might as well dethrone Tim Krul for the No.1 role between the sticks in the Premier League
According to BBC, Premier League newcomers Norwich City have announced the signing of goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann on a season-long loan deal from Bundesliga side Schalke, with the 30-year-old becoming the Canaries’ fourth signing of the summer following their promotion to the Premier League.
The club has already brought in Patrick Roberts on loan from Man City, 17-year-old teenager Daniel Adshead from Rochdale and Swiss striker Josip Drmic on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach, and Fahrmann is the latest addition to that list, as manager Daniel Farke looks to build a squad capable of beating the drop in the Premier League.
A seasoned-campaigner in the Bundesliga, Fahrmann has carved out a big reputation for himself as a bonafide shot-stopper between the sticks over the last ten years or so.
The 30-year-old started this past season as the first-choice at Schalke but German U-21 shot-stopper Alexander Nubel leapfrogged him in the pecking order towards the end of the campaign.
A youth graduate of Schalke, Fahrmann made his professional debut for his boyhood club way back in 2008 but he found regular minutes hard to come by due to the presence of Manuel Neuer in the ranks.
After spending time largely with the reserve side at Schalke, Fahrmann switched boats to join fellow Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in 2009 and went on to register a total of 19 appearances for his new club in all competitions.
However, Fahrmann returned to Schalke in 2011 following the sale of Neuer to Bayern Munich and gradually established himself as the first-choice with the gloves.
The former German U-21 international hasn’t looked back since then and has made a total of 234 appearances in all competitions till date, conceding 290 goals and registering an impressive 77 clean sheets in the process.
Hence, it is pretty clear that Ralf Fahrmann boasts of a bagful of experience in the German top-flight and the 6ft. 5-inch shot-stopper’s arrival at Carrow Road is expected to hand Norwich a massive boost ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.
Experience in the ranks is always desirable for any promoted side and Fahrmann certainly fits the bill.
One cannot help but feel that Daniel Farke’s presence at the helm of affairs and his sound knowledge of German football could have had a lot to do with Norwich’s success in securing a loan deal for the highly-rated 30-year-old.
Nevertheless, Fahrmann has the profile and the quality to be a statement signing for a newly-promoted side like Norwich City.
To put things into perspective, it is not difficult to see why Norwich have struck gold with the signing of Ralf Fahrmann and, in all probability, the Canaries are looking at him as someone who could provide cover and competition for current No.1 Tim Krul.
The Dutchman played every minute of the Canaries’ triumphant campaign in the Championship last season and recently penned a new contract in June but the German is more than capable of ousting him from the throne.
Krul looked a tad shaky over the course of the last season in the second-tier but Norwich hardly had anyone else to assume to No.1 role, with 34-year-old back-up Michael McGovern not really mounting much of a challenge.
However, with Fahrmann now in the ranks, the Canaries virtually have two quality keepers contesting for the No.1 role and that sort of healthy competition for places in certainly desirable, particularly as they are in the Premier League now.
Analysing Norwich’s approach so far in the transfer window, the Canaries have already made it very clear that they do not have the finances to go all out in search of marquee signings.
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As opposed to fellow newcomers Aston Villa, who have opted to spend big, Norwich have adopted a rather shrewd approach by focussing more on loan deals and free transfers, and the acquisition of Fahrmann also falls within that bracket.