Norwich City set to beat West Ham and Crystal Palace to sign emerging Irish defender
Drogheda United’s Emmanuel Adegboyega is set to jet across the Irish Sea to link up with the Canaries
Norwich City are continuing their recruitment drive ahead of the 2023-24 season – and that doesn’t just mean signing ready to go first-teamers at Carrow Road.
David Wagner has added experience to his side with the likes of Ashley Barnes, Shane Duffy and Jack Stacey among other players, but the Canaries are also in the market to add to their under-21’s squad which plies its trade in the Premier League 2 competition.
Bromley right-back Kellen Fisher, Atlanta United goalkeeper Vicente Reyes and Hamilton Academical’s 16-year-old Scottish midfielder Gabriel Forsyth have all arrived this summer in Norfolk, and it appears that they could be joined by another emerging talent.
The Republic of Ireland is a place where Norwich have had success in bringing players over from in recent years, with both Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah plucked from academies across the Irish Sea and they have developed at City and become established first-team players.
And they now look set to follow a similar route albeit by trying to sign a player with senior experience instead of being straight out of an academy, as according to Barry Landy of the Irish Sun, Drogheda United’s Emmanuel Adegboyega is close to making the switch to Norwich.
Who is Emmanuel Adegboyega?
Adegboyega will be a relative unknown to English football fans – unless they are avid watchers of the League of Ireland Premier Division – but the young defender is still relatively new to that level.
The 19-year-old has spent time in numerous Irish and Northern Irish academies during his career and he left Drogheda at one point to join league rivals Dundalk, but he made the move back to United at the start of 2023.
Adegboyega never made an appearance for Dundalk but upon returning to Drogheda, he was immediately thrust into action in Ireland’s top flight.
The teenager has played 24 times in all competitions so far in the 2023 season, scoring once and also notching an assist, and his assured performances have clearly been impressing scouts across the water in England.
Who else has been interested in Emmanuel Adegboyega?
Both Crystal Palace and West Ham United were interested in the centre-back as well and he trialled with Blackpool earlier in the year, per Landy’s report in the Irish Sun, but it is Norwich who are set to land Adegboyega’s services.
Drogheda defeated Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup last weekend and despite picking up a first minute booking, Adegboyega was watched by Norwich scout Mariela Nisotaki and was suitably impressed, with a deal now seemingly in place to see him join City.
And with Adegboyega signing his first professional contract with United earlier in July until November 2024, it means that the club will be entitled to a fee for his services, with a likely sell-on that could benefit the Irish club in the future.
Adegboyega will now get the chance to follow in the footsteps of Omobamidele, who signed for Norwich in 2019 from Leixlip United as a teenager and has become a Republic of Ireland senior international.
Now, at the age of 21, Omobamidele has been linked with the likes of A.C. Milan, Nice and Crystal Palace and could move on for a significant fee from Carrow Road, and Adegboyega will be hoping to have a similar impact in the next few years after he completes his switch.