Why Norwich City should complete a swoop for Chima Okoroji in January
According to claims from Transfermarkt (h/t The Pink’Un), Norwich City have been credited with an interest in left-back Chima Okoroji, who is currently plying his trade on loan at German second-tier club Jahn Regensburg from Bundesliga outfit Freiburg.
Apart from the Canaries, German giants Bayer Leverkusen also scouted the 22-year-old defender during his side’s 3-3 home draw with VFL Osnabruck.
Okoroji capped off a driving run with a fine finish to get his name on the scoresheet and apparently caught the eye of the scouts in attendance. (h/t The Pink’ Un)
Okoroji, though, is not the only left-back to have been linked with a move to Carrow Road in recent weeks, with the Canaries also understood to be in the race to sign Hearts starlet Aaron Hickey. (Scottish Sun, h/t The Pink’ Un)
Born in Munich, Germany, to a Nigerian father and an English mother, Okoroji spent 10 years in the youth system at Bayern Munich and subsequently completed his footballing education with a brief stint at Augsburg before completing a move to Freiburg in 2018.
The 22-year-old largely featured for Freiburg’s reserve side in the fourth-tier last term but he did make a couple of appearances in the Bundesliga, starring in a 5-1 home victory over his former club Augsburg in February before an injury marked a premature end to his campaign.
Okoroji was loaned out to Bundesliga II outfit Jahn Regensburg in the summer and he has grabbed his opportunities with both hands, starting all eleven games and playing every minute of the club’s league campaign so far. The 22-year-old has chipped in with a goal and an assist, earning rave reviews for his development.
As per whoscored, Chima Okoroji has accumulated a total of 11 key passes, while averaging 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.7 clearances per game in the Bundesliga II, figures which clearly indicate that he is a useful modern-day attacking full-back in the making.
While reinforcements in central defence should be a top priority for Daniel Farke following injuries to Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose, the Canaries can certainly do with a bit more competition at left-back, and Chima Okoroji looks like a good option in the right age bracket.
Jamal Lewis has been an undisputed starter on the left-hand side of the pitch and while the Northern Ireland international has impressed in patches, the youngster’s lack of goal contribution might prompt the Canaries to bring another player in the same mould to increase competition.
Philip Heise, who joined Norwich City from Dynamo Dresden back in January, has largely featured for the U-23s, making it to only a handful of matchday squads in the Premier League, whilst James Husband, who is on loan at Blackpool, is out of contract next summer.
With Farke at the helm of affairs, the Canaries have raided the German market for some quality low-cost signings like Marco Stiepermann, Zimmermann, Mario Vrancic, Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner and Onel Hernandez over the last two years.
To that end, there is enough reason to believe that Chima Okoroji could possibly be the next big bargain signing to come through the door at Carrow Road.
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The 22-year-old is likely to take some time to settle down in the Premier League but should Norwich be relegated to the Championship by the end of the season, Okoroji could probably use the second-tier as a stepping stone to aim for greater heights.