Matthews Set To Be New Norwich No: 1?
Remi Matthews has a massive six months ahead of him.
The 23 year old Gorleston born goalkeeper is all set for another loan to Plymouth Argyle, once he recovers from the injury that curtailed his emergency loan earlier in the season.
Argyle are in a nightmare position, goalkeeper wise, with seven men having so far played between the sticks for Derek Adams` side this season. All three senior keepers were ruled out for the long term before Matthews came in on an emergency loan and it`s the Norfolk boy who`s made the biggest impression of the stand ins.
Remi made seven appearances for the Pilgrims, keeping four clean sheets and conceding six goals before an ankle injury forced his return to Colney.
He`s on the mend though and speculation suggests that Matthews will return to Plymouth in the New Year, probably on a loan until the end of the season and it`s that which should set him up nicely for a challenge for the Norwich Number one shirt.
Angus Gunn has won the plaudits this season, while on loan from Manchester City, but it looks highly unlikely to me that he will return next season.
It`s not impossible but to my mind, the England U21 keeper will need to help Norwich to a (at this point) surprise promotion and then another loan might be granted.
With the previous incumbent of the England U21 shirt, Jordan Pickford being sold for £30m and Angus having had a full England call up, a precedent has been set and there is no way we can afford that sort of cash for anyone.
I could well imagine that Manchester City would want their young star to play at the highest level to gain experience to either compete for their own number one shirt or to become as valuable as possible.
Ederson and Claudio Bravo are both on long term contracts at the Etihad and Ederson has shown what a top player he is this season. I watched the Man City v Spurs game and his distribution, never mind his actual shot stopping, we`re terrific.
Bravo did himself no harm either with more penalty save heroics in the Carabao Cup win over Leicester on Tuesday night. That suggests that the path is blocked In Manchester and that Angus will have to look elsewhere for game time.
Having had what will, personally, have been a successful season in the Championship, surely the next step is for Premier League (or at least top flight abroad) football. Much will depend on a Premier League club wanting him and assuring Manchester City that he will play regularly and if that happens, we will be out of luck.
The only two scenarios I can see working for Norwich would be either promotion or that due to a lack of suitable opportunities, his parent club decide to let him go to Norwich again on loan. He would no doubt be happy with that and the player`s views would of course be a consideration.
BUT and that a big "but" I`m not putting any money on Angus being here again next season.
So, for Remi Matthews, at 23 and with just under fifty league appearances on his CV, albeit none for Norwich, an opportunity beckons.
If he has a good six months at Plymouth then the door is open for him at Carrow Road. Michael McGovern is back up to Angus and with Paul Jones surely leaving next summer, I reckon that the decision to extend Remi`s contract up till 2019 was made with one eye on this scenario.
There are no certainties in football but Matthews surely has a big chance within his grasp.