With Norwich having signed Alex Prithcard from Tottenham last week, I thought it would be good to see if we could learn a tad more about the young midfielder.
Most fans will know him from his exceptional time on loan at Brentford in the 2014/15 season, so I spoke to Beesotted Brentford (check them out) writer Carl Massey about all things Pritchard. Enjoy!
First of all, from a Brentford point of view, what do you make of Norwich’s new signing?
I’ve got no doubt that Pritchard will do the business for Norwich. He is one of the most naturally talented footballers I’ve seen play at Brentford. My big concern would be that Norwich have paid a huge amount for him – too much in my opinion – and fans will expect the finished article for that price. He’s not by any stretch but what the club have bought is one hell of a talented footballer and if he can replicate the form he showed with Brentford, Norwich fans will be in for a treat.
Would you of liked to have had him back at Brentford?
Yes – but not for that amount of money. Norwich are in a different league to Brentford financially so you might not see it as an issue which is fine.
I certainly miss watching him play each week and would have absolutely loved to see him back at Griffin Park. I suppose we will but I was hoping it would be in red and white.
At least it’s not QPR, that would have been unbearable.
Do you think he could develop into a Premier League quality player?
Yes without a doubt. I’m surprised that Pochettino didn’t want to give him a chance.
Pritchard is small but can certainly rough it and with his skill and technical ability I think he can be a Premier League player.
He needs the players round him though to be able to flourish. He is an attacker and providing he is given the freedom he will tear teams apart.
Spurs may have dropped a clanger letting him go.
Was he better for you on loan than Sergi Canos was last season?
Difficult to answer that one. On the face of it yes. Pritchard showed more ability but he was playing in one of the best Brentford sides ever. We had an incredible season and Pritchard was able to express himself and making mistakes wasn’t an issue. He always had the players around him to back him up.
Canos on the other hand is much more of a raw talent. Last season was pretty awful despite finishing 9th. Canos’ energy and enthusiasm was one of the few highlights and he backs that up with a lot of ability. Sergi was one of the few shining lights in a turbulent season.
Do you think £8m+ is a fair price?
As I’ve said, I think it’s way too much. For all his ability Pritchard has had one good season in an extremely talented Championship team and then gone back to the Premier League and not really done it.
However with parachute payments maybe it’s not a big issue for Norwich but £8 million certainly represents a big gamble in my view.
What are his biggest strengths? Will he get the crowd off their feet?
His technical ability and quick feet are his biggest strengths. He can leave defenders on their arse and make them stupid. I’m getting all teary eyed thinking about him, Jota and Gray destroying opposition defences.
If given the freedom to make mistakes he’ll get you out of your seats every game. It’s no exaggeration to say he is one of, if not the most talented footballer I’ve seen at Griffin Park.
What parts of his game need the most improvement?
You could argue that if the opposition are having the best of the game then he can go missing. He is the kind of player that will be most effective when your on the front foot.
You could say he needs to work on his defensive side of the game but I wouldn’t want that to take away from what he provides going forward.
Finally, will Brentford fans give him a good reception when we play you?
Absolutely. Being a loan player there was never any expectations that he would stay. Everyone would have loved him to but after the kind of season he had for us, bigger clubs were always going to come in.
He lit up Griffin Park and I’m sure we’ll show our appreciation to him.
A big thank you goes out to Carl and Beesotted for conducting this Q&A with me, and I wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season!