Why Alex Kral could be a real coup for injury-hit Norwich City in January
Kral, who moved to Spartak Moscow from Slavia Prague in his homeland during the summer window, has already caught the eye this term with a number of impressive displays for club and country, including a key role in the Czech Republic’s 2-1 victory over England in the Euro 2020 qualifiers last month.
Born in Slovakia, Kral turned professional with Czech top-flight club Teplice before earning a move to giants Slavia Prague in January 2019. The 21-year-old was instrumental in Slavia’s march to the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League before they were knocked out by eventual champions Chelsea.
In fact, Kral was an integral part of the Slavia side that gave Chelsea a real comeback scare in a 4-3 defeat in the second leg of the quarter-final clash at Stamford Bridge, and the 21-year-old was later pictured alongside David Luiz on Instagram.
As per Whoscored, Alex Kral averages 38.2 passes per game at an accuracy of 80.1%, including 0.4 key passes, 2.2 long balls, 2.8 tackles, 1 interception and 1.6 clearances per game in the Russian Premier League this season, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded attributes as a midfield enforcer.
Interestingly, it is his tackling accuracy that has caught the eye more than anything else, with Kral successfully completing 14 out of his attempted 16 tackles in the league so far. (Whoscored)
To put things into perspective, Norwich City have already been made to pay a heavy price for opting against any significant investment following their promotion to the top-flight, with injuries to several key players in the first quarter of the campaign vastly limiting Daniel Farke’s resources in multiple areas of the pitch, especially the backline.
Farke has been forced to field a makeshift defence on a number of occasions, with Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann all on the treatment table.
Ibrahim Amadou, who was brought in on loan from Sevilla in the summer to bolster depth in central midfield, has been deployed in an unfamiliar centre-back role to cope with the ongoing crisis.
With Mario Vrancic also on the sidelines and Alex Tettey only a shadow of his former glorious self at the age of 33, the Canaries might be forced to dip into the market in January to bring reinforcements in multiple areas.
Norwich currently sit 19th in the standings following an injury-plagued start to the campaign and the mid-season trading period looks like the only escape route for the club in their bid for survival in the top-flight.
To that end, the acquisition of a young and talented central midfielder like Alex Kral could be a massive boost to Norwich’s chances of beating the drop.
Furthermore, he is a player with a lot of potential and Norwich can afford to look at him as someone whose best years still lie ahead of him.
More Norwich City News
- Why Norwich City should reignite their interest in Kwasi Okyere Wriedt
- Why Norwich City should quickly snap up free agent Mehdi Zeffane
- Here are 3 things everyone can learn from Norwich City
However, with other Premier League clubs also interested in the player’s services and given their league position at the bottom of the table, it remains to be seen whether the prospect of a move to Carrow Road appeals to Kral, particularly due to the fact that he is playing for a big club.
That said, the Canaries should go all out in their pursuit of the 7-cap Czech international in January in a bid to alleviate their injury woes.