Why ex-Sunderland man Danny Batth hasn't been playing for Norwich City after summer transfer

The Norwich City view on ex-Sunderland defender Danny Batth after his summer transfer to Carrow Road.
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Sunderland are preparing to face Norwich at Carrow Road - yet former Black Cats defender Danny Batth appears unlikely to feature.

The 33-year-old centre-back was voted Sunderland fans’ player of the season during the 2022/23 campaign, but was allowed to leave Wearside to join Norwich last summer. Since then, Batth has only made 10 Championship appearances, including just four starts, for the Canaries.

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To find out more, we caught up with Norwich reporter Connor Southwell from The Pink Un on the latest episode of The Roar Podcast to ask why Batth hasn’t been playing under David Wagner.

CS: “That’s the exact question that a lot of Norwich fans have been wondering. He came with a pedigree of being player of the season in a side who were in the play-offs last season and there was a lot of excitement around him, I think that’s fair to say.

Norwich lost Andrew Omobamidele late in the transfer window on deadline day, they moved quickly to sign Danny Batth, a player that Stuart Webber (Norwich’s former sporting director) had a knowledge of and a relationship with from their time together at Wolves. When all of the options have been fit, Ben Gibson, Shane Duffy, Grant Hanley, Danny Batth, he’s kind of been fourth choice in that pecking order.

“Even in the last few weeks, Ben Gibson dropped out with an injury and they’ve preferred Kenny McLean in there because David Wagner likes to have a left-right-footed balance at the back in order to help their build-up and what they do on the ball.

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“On the right side, Grant Hanley has come back from a pretty major Achilles injury which has kept him out from Easter last year until Christmas, so about eight months, and they’ve had to manage him. He dropped out a few weeks ago and they put in Jacob Sorensen, who is kind of a defensive midfielder, on the right side. Danny Batth was left on the bench. We saw it on Saturday, Hanley signalled that he wanted to come off, Sorensen was the one they called from the bench instead of Danny Batth.

“It’s hard to say anything really apart from David Wagner, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to be having him. I think there are factors in that. He was part, a very small part, but he was part of their poor run. I think there are maybe some concerns around distribution as well, and maybe even athleticism at points because they like to play with quite a high line. That being said, the options they do have aren’t rapid and I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s any slower than any of them.

“To be honest, when he has played he’s done ok. It is a head scratcher really. His contract is up at the end of the season and I think it’s difficult to see any kind of outcome now that would lead to that getting renewed or, to be frank, for him wanting it to be renewed.

“It just hasn’t worked out and it’s a real shame because when he joined the club there was, excitement is maybe a bit strong, but there was a lot of respect towards him and what he’d achieved at Sunderland. The fact that we haven’t really seen him has been baffling throughout this season.”

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