It’s been a long and difficult season back in the Premier League for Daniel Farke and Norwich City, with the Canaries currently rooted to the foot of the table.
On Saturday they suffered defeat in a game that they simply had to win to avoid being cut further adrift at the bottom, but against Brighton they struggled and fell to a 1-0 loss at Carrow Road.
Since the restart they’ve lost all four of their Premier League games but perhaps more worrying, they have failed to net a single goal in that time, as they sit seven points from safety with just five games to go.
They’ve had little to cheer about at the club since football returned, however, one of their few bright sparks, in the short cameos he’s been given, has been 19-year-old Irish striker Adam Idah.
With an increased number of substitutes allowed following the restart, Idah has seen himself handed more minutes off the bench, looking lively against the likes of Arsenal and Everton before almost grabbing a late equaliser against Brighton, striking the woodwork with a superb diving header late in the game.
But has he shown enough to be trusted as Norwich’s first-choice striker for the remainder of the season? Yes, in context.
It’s important to first look at Norwich’s struggles, which without being too crass has been almost everywhere, however in front of goal has been particularly alarming of late.
They’ve failed to find the net in any of their last five league games and have only managed three goals in their last 12 in the Premier League.
Teemu Pukki is widely considered Norwich’s first choice and for good reason – he fired the Canaries to the Premier League last season and scored 11 in his first 22 games in the top flight.
The Fin though has fallen away of late, failing to score in his last nine games in the league and losing his starting spot against Everton and Brighton – proof that the position at Norwich is indeed up for grabs.
In Pukki’s absence comes Swiss international striker and second choice at the club, Josip Drmic, who has started as the lone striker against Everton and Brighton and alongside Pukki against Sheffield United (a short-lived two up front experiment from Farke).
Drmic though hasn’t proven to be the remedy for the Canaries also failing to find the next in any of his starts and has only managed one goal in 18 Premier League appearances, despite being an experienced international striker.
He hasn’t exactly won the fans over at Carrow Road either.
What does Vrancic need to do to get a game? Drmic over Idah … seriously Farke 🤦♀️
— Christine Dye (@Christine_Dye) July 4, 2020
Drmic over idah is a crazy move
— Bradley Ellis (@BradderzEllis) July 4, 2020
I've no problem with Pukki on the bench right now but idah has shown more than Drmic.
— Holtamania (@Holtamania) July 4, 2020
So with Pukki and Drmic struggling that leaves Adam Idah and with five games to go and the other options struggling why not try the 19-year-old up front from the start in Norwich’s next few games?
Idah burst onto the scene earlier this season bagging a sensational hat-trick against Preston in the FA Cup and winning a start against Manchester United in the absence of other options earlier in the season.
He may have looked isolated against United, but he’s proven that when handed a significant chance he can cause teams problems – ask any defender he’s played against for Ireland at U21 level
Idah’s cameos against Brighton, where he got 23 minutes, and Arsenal, where he managed 45, filled Norwich fans with promise as many called for him to be their first choice going forward.
Comically bad again from Drmic. Really should not be anywhere near this level. Pukki poor too since restart. I'd start Idah from now on, done more in his brief appearances to deserve a start v Brighton.
— Adam Brandon (@AdamBrandon84) July 1, 2020
— David Gower (@david_gower83) July 4, 2020
Adam Idah has to start for the rest of this season. It’s clear to see he actually cares about our club. #NCFC
— Chris Reeve (@ChrisReevo) July 4, 2020
This squad is so devoid of any kind of pace.
Onel and Idah are the rare exceptions.
Should have had both on the field from the start. At the same time!
— Rob Butler (@BobRutler) July 4, 2020
Norwich are highly unlikely to climb out of their current position so what does Farke have to lose by handing Idah the mantle up top for the rest of the campaign?
The 19-year-old clearly has a big future at the club and a string of even two or three Premier League starts in a row would be priceless experience for him.
If Pukki goes next season, Idah could well be the Canaries’ main striker and if he can find his feet at the top level and Norwich can hold onto him then he could be a serious problem for teams at Championship level.
Starting a 19-year-old up front when you’re in a, albeit losing, relegation battle might be seen as a risk but when you’re other options are struggling on the level Pukki and Drmic are, is it really?
Daniel Farke has nothing to lose by making Idah his first-choice striker for their remaining games.