HEAD COACH David Wagner’s insistence that new signings have at least a week’s training to become familiar with Huddersfield Town’s style of play means Alex Pritchard is likely to be watching from the sidelines today.
But in spending around £11m on the 24-year-old Norwich City midfielder, the Terriers chief has, for the second week in a row, moved decisively in the transfer window to strengthen an area of his squad that required attention.
After bringing in Terence Kongolo as not only competition for Christopher Schindler and Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen but also a possible starter at left-back, Wagner now has a recognised No 10 – a role that is crucial to how Huddersfield play under the German’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
With Kasey Palmer having missed almost the entire first half of the season through injury before returning to parent club Chelsea and Abdelhamid Sabiri yet to convince in English football, Tom Ince has largely been the man to whom Wagner has turned in the position.
He has performed admirably, but the former Hull City man still seems more of a threat in a wider role rather than through the middle.
Pritchard’s arrival – he signed a three-and-a-half year contract yesterday with the club having the option of extending by a further 12 months – means Huddersfield should have a better balance going forward with the new man at No 10 and flanked by Ince and Rajiv van la Parra.
He is exactly the type of player that we like to work with at this club. Alex is a young, British player who arrives as one of the top performers in the Championship.David Wagner on new signing Alex Pritchard
Wagner, for his part, is rightly pleased to have made a second capture of the window.
“He is exactly the type of player that we like to work with at this club,” added the German. “Alex is a young, British player who arrives as one of the top performers in the Championship and with a desire to prove himself in the Premier League.”