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Why Norwich would be better off avoiding signing this talented 19-year-old Ligue 1 starlet

Loic Mbe Soh has been linked with a host of Championship clubs
Loic Mbe Soh has been linked with a host of Championship clubs

Why Norwich City need not push too hard for Loic Mbe Soh

According to claims from French outlet Le Parisien (h/t Nottinghamshire Live), newly-relegated Norwich City have been mentioned among the potential suitors for highly-rated Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Loic Mbe Soh.

As per the report, Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough are also in the race to sign the 19-year-old, who has made 3 first-team appearances for the French heavyweights over the past couple of seasons. 

Back in August, L’Equipe (h/t The Pink Un) claimed that Norwich were among the clubs monitoring the teenager alongside Spanish outfits Cadiz and Mallorca.

Profile

Born in Nanga Eboko, Cameroon, Loic Mbe Soh migrated to France at a young age and rose through the youth ranks of PSG before signing his first professional contract with the Ligue 1 giants in 2018.

First professional contract for Loïc Mbe Soh | Paris Saint-Germain
Loic Mbe Soh signed his first professional contract with PSG back in 2018 (Getty Images)

The 19-year-old featured twice for PSG’s senior side in the French top-flight towards the end of the 2018-19 campaign but was limited to only a solitary first-team appearance last term. 

Despite that, however, Mbe Soh continued to impress at the youth level and captained PSG’s U-19 side in the group stages of the UEFA Youth League. The France U-19 international was included in the 100-man shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy Award, also featuring Norwich’s Max Aarons among the nominees.

As per the report, the teenager is expected to secure a permanent exit from the French capital this summer, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2021.

Norwich are already well-stocked in central defence

Norwich City have been very active in the summer window following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season. The Canaries have completed deals for as many as eleven new signings in a bid to rebuild their squad as Daniel Farke prepares to put up a strong challenge for promotion.

While the likes of Jordan Hugill and Kieran Dowell have been roped in to improve the attack, Norwich have also taken significant steps to shore up a brittle backline that finished with the worst defensive record (75 goals conceded) in the top-flight last term.

Guardian sport on Twitter: "Next Generation 2018: Loïc Mbe Soh (@PSG_inside / France). By @scoutedftbl https://t.co/432p4Q9xD9… "
Mbe Soh has made 3 first-team appearances for PSG so far (Getty Images)

The Canaries’ efforts to strengthen their defence have been well-documented by loan deals for Ben Gibson and Xavi Quintilla, with teenage right-back Matthew Dennis also arriving at Carrow Road on a free transfer from Arsenal.

With Gibson joining the likes of Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley, Ben Godfrey, and Timm Klose, Norwich currently have five senior central defenders competing for places. Hence, investing in another centre-back like Loic Mbe Soh wouldn’t make much sense for the Canaries.

Yes, Norwich can certainly afford to look at the 19-year-old as an excellent long-term investment, given his massive potential. But it’s unlikely that he would get enough game time in the Championship next season.

As far as the future is concerned, the Canaries already have some top-quality prospects like Akin Famewo and Rocky Bushiri trying to make a name for themselves in the first-team. With that in mind, signing another promising starlet in the same position could stall the progress of the existing players.

Report: Forest in position to sign Loic Mbe Soh ahead of Norwich and Boro – HITC
Norwich City are among the clubs interested in signing Loic Mbe Soh (Getty Images)

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Verdict

Make no mistake, Loic Mbe Soh seems to be a future star in the making, but a move to Carrow Road might not be the best deal for either the club or the player. 

At 19, Mbe Soh’s priority should be to work on his development and Norwich might not be able to provide him with enough regular minutes in the first-team next season. Farke already has enough young talent to work with and the PSG graduate is not someone that they need at the moment.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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