Why Norwich City would be wise to drop their interest in Tommaso Pobega
The 20-year-old, who is currently on loan at Italian second-tier outfit Pordenone, has made a bright start to the life on his temporary spell away from the San Siro, and his red-hot form has put the Canaries on alert heading into the mid-season trading period in January.
Having spent the entirety of the campaign on loan at Ternana in Serie C, Pobega has already made the step up to a higher division this term with great aplomb, registering 3 goals and 3 assists in 8 appearances for Pordenone in the Serie B.
Norwich City, though, aren’t all alone in their pursuit of the young central midfielder, with Serie A clubs Hellas Verona and Atalanta also keeping close tabs on his progress. (Messagero Veneto h/t Eastern Daily Press)
As per the report, Pordenone have an option to sign Tommaso Pobega permanently at the end of the season for a fee of €2.2m but AC Milan are trying to block that following the youngster’s wonderful start to life at his loan club.
Born in Trieste, Italy, Pobega started his footballing education at Triestina in the lower division before joining the Rossoneri at the youth level in 2013. Despite his rapid progress through the ranks, the midfielder is yet to make his professional bow for Milan and is currently serving his second loan spell away from his parent club.
Meanwhile, Norwich City currently find themselves languishing in the relegation zone following a lacklustre start to life in the top-flight and it is a no-brainer that they need to look for some significant reinforcements during the mid-season trading period to turn their fortunes around.
Injuries to some of the first-team mainstays have left manager Daniel Farke with very little cover in key areas of the pitch and the Canaries clearly have a lot of work to do in the January window if they are really serious about preserving their status as a Premier League club.
However, an impressive all-round display to secure a 2-2 draw against a struggling Arsenal unit at Carrow Road on Sunday is likely to go a long way towards proving that their hopes of survival in the Premier League are far from over.
A lack of stability at the back has been one of the major talking points from Norwich’s poor start to the season, with the Canaries already shipping as many as 30 goals in 14 games.
While that is surely going to be a cause of concern ahead of a busy Christmas period moving into the January window, Farke might as well look to bring in some game-changers up top given that a better scoring record in the second half of the campaign could help the club beat the drop.
To that end, Norwich’s interest in Tommaso Pobega doesn’t make really make a lot of sense in footballing terms, given that the Canaries already have a plethora of options in the middle of the park and there is hardly any evidence to suggest that the 20-year-old could be an upgrade on their existing options.
Of course, it is not difficult to figure out that Norwich are looking at the player as a long-term prospect as a part of their plans moving forward, given his potential and his burgeoning reputation in the lower divisions in Italy.
However, their position at the bottom of the standings in the Premier League necessitates the recruitment of some proven performers who could come in an make an immediate difference, and Pobega doesn’t really fit the bill in that regard.
With Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner, Alex Tettey, Kenny McLean and Mario Vrancic being decent options in central midfield, an unproven starlet like Pobega is going to find it extremely hard to break into Farke’s plans in the Premier League.
With Tettey out of contract next summer and Ibrahim Amadou only on loan from Sevilla, the Canaries have every reason to look at the Italian as a long-term prospect.
With that in mind, however, Norwich have already roped in so many young players from across the continent as a part of their youth recruitment drive in recent times, and the ideal thing for them in January would be to focus on improving their first-team.
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Having said that, Norwich City would be better of dropping their interest in Tommaso Pobega, at least for the time being, and concentrate on bringing in some game-changers during the mid-season trading period.