Norwich have an agreement in place for 19-year-old starlet – A right addition for the future?


Why Norwich City signing Sebastian Soto is a step in the right direction

According to a report from German publication Bild (h/t Eastern Daily Press), Norwich City have an agreement in place to sign Hannover striker Sebastian Soto, who will be a free agent in the summer. The USA U20 international will be loaned out next season though, due to work permit issues.

The 19-year-old Soto started out at San Diego Surf in the US before joining the Real Salt Lake academy in 2016. Two years later, Hannover would sign him up on a free transfer. The striker initially linked up with the club’s U19 side and made a huge impression.

Soto made his first-team debut for Hannover in April 2019 and has featured four more times since then, having been blighted by injuries in 2019/20. The teenager is yet to score for the senior team.

Norwich target Sebastian Soto in action for Hannover 96
Sebastian Soto in action for Hannover 96

Norwich City’s season so far…

Norwich City, meanwhile, have failed to build on their excellent, promotion-winning 2018/19 campaign. The Canaries have struggled for consistency in the Premier League and as a result, find themselves staring at the prospect of relegation. At the time of the season suspension, Daniel Farke’s men were rooted to the bottom of the table.

In Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia, Norwich have two quality attacking midfielder in the ranks. In fact, Buendia has created the fourth-highest number of goalscoring opportunities in the Premier League this season. But the lack of a quality striker apart from top goalscorer Teemu Pukki has hurt the Canaries.

Teemu Pukki is Norwich's chief source of goals
Teemu Pukki is Norwich’s chief source of goals

In addition, Pukki’s form also dwindled after a blazing start to life in the top-flight. This has further played a part in their struggles at the bottom of the table. So, it becomes necessary that the club recruit players to add more quality and depth to the squad, especially in the centre-forward department.

While Soto may not be able to play for Norwich next season, the 19-year-old’s potential and availability on a free transfer makes his signing a shrewd one by the club.

Soto may be yet to score for the Hannover senior team, but he displayed his quality with the U19s last season when he plundered 17 goals and assisted 6 more in 24 matches.

Soto celebrates scoring for USA U20
Soto celebrates scoring for USA U20

In addition, the youngster has been a standout performer for the USA youth sides. In three matches for the U19s, Soto scored five goals. He has followed that up with six goals in 11 matches for the U20 side – four of which came in the FIFA U20 World Cup last year. He has also scored once in two matches for the U23s.

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Soto may not be able to play for Norwich starting from next season itself but the 19-year-old has shown a lot of potential with the Hannover U19 side and the USA youth teams. That, coupled with his availability for free makes him a smart signing for the Canaries for the future.