This time last year barely a day went by without Milot Rashica being linked with a big-money move to Aston Villa. Typical, eh Villa fans?
Because 12 months on, that very same player has just joined Norwich City in a deal nobody saw coming, a rare bolt-from-the-blue in an era when signings are usually only concluded after weeks of speculation and countless column inches.
“We’re delighted,” Norwich coach Daniel Farke says of a man reported to have set the Canaries back a fee similar to the £9 million they paid for club-record signing Steven Naismith five and a half years ago.
“Many top clubs have been interested in his signature over the last seasons and he was quite often connected with a big-money move.
“(Rashica) is a player who can do something outstanding. He can play a number of positions – as a winger, striker or number ten. He’s a pretty versatile player and we’re happy to be able to bring a quality player in.”
Considering the Kosovan speed-machine mustered just three goals as Werder Bremen were relegated from the Bundesliga last season, Rashica will arrive at Carrow Road under pressure to prove a superb 2019/20 campaign wasn’t merely a flash in the pan.
And the fact Aston Villa came so close to signing the 24-year-old less than 12 months ago means it won’t be just those in East Anglia who’ll be watching Rashica’s every twist and turn with interest.
Werder Bremen director Frank Baumann confirmed Villa’s interest nine months ago, only for a £20.5 million deal to collapse following a disagreement over wages (Birmingham Mail).
Will Rashica now show Villa what they’re missing at Carrow Road?
Here’s what some Aston Villa supporters on Twitter thought about the Rashica announcement: