1. ITV Report

Stuart Webber: Who is Norwich City's new sporting director?

Stuart Webber (left) shakes hands with Managing Director Steve Stone (right) following his appointment. Credit: Jasonpix

It's been a long time coming, but Norwich City have finally found their new sporting director.

Huddersfield Town's young Head of Football Operations Stuart Webber is the man the board have placed their trust in, and he's certainly got a big job on his hands.

The Canaries have failed to live up to their billing as one of the favourites for promotion from The Championship this season, and will undoubtedly need to shift some of their big-earners in the summer in order to make room for some new, hungrier players.

So, is Webber up to it? We've been looking back at his career so far as he prepares to start work at Carrow Road...

  • Where has he been before?
Webber used to work as Director of Recruitment at Liverpool. Credit: PA

Despite his tender years, 33-year-old Webber certainly isn’t lacking in experience having already worked at several clubs.

He started his career at Welsh club Wrexham before joining Premier League giants Liverpool as their Director of Recruitment.

Spells at QPR and Wolves then followed, before he made the move to Huddersfield Town as their Head of Football Operations in 2015.

At every club he’s worked at, Webber has been instrumental in shaping recruitment and the development of young players –traits which are sure to have alerted Norwich to his potential.

  • Which players has he helped to recruit?
Raheem Sterling (left) and Benik Afobe (right) are two of Webber's most successful signings. Credit: PA

Webber clearly has an eye for talent, as he demonstrated when he helped bring a 15-year-old Raheem Sterling to Liverpool from QPR in 2010.

Sterling went on to earn the Reds £49 million when he was eventually sold to Manchester City - a deal that wouldn’t have been possible without Webber’s persistence some years before.

He carried on the good work at Wolves where he made the club millions of pounds by attracting Arsenal striker Benik Afobe to the Midlands who subsequently joined Bournemouth in a £10 million deal 12 months later.

In terms of his work at Huddersfield, he’s recruited some quality loan signings from top Premier League clubs with both Manchester City’s Aaron Mooy and Chelsea’s Izzy Brown playing key roles in the Terriers’ unlikely push for the Premier League.

The likes of Elias Kachunga and Christopher Schindler have also made big impacts since joining from German clubs for bargain fees which has allowed the Terriers to compete at the top end of the division despite not being blessed with the resources available to many of their rivals.

  • What kind of Head Coach will he want to work with?
Paul Heckingbottom (left), Anthony Hudson (centre) and Uwe Rösler (right) have all been linked with the Carrow Road vacancy. Credit: PA

This is where we start to enter speculation territory, but we can probably rule out the likes of Alan Pardew who you would imagine won't be interested in reporting to a sporting director.

Instead, Norwich will probably pursue a young, upcoming coach which could be good news for rumoured candidates such as Barnsley’s Paul Heckingbottom or highly-rated New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson.

Don’t rule out a first foreign boss either, considering Webber’s successful relationship with David Wagner at Huddersfield.

Although it’s hard to envisage Wagner following Webber to Norfolk, someone in his ilk could be the answer.

Fleetwood Town’s Uwe Rösler is doing a superb job in League One this season and plenty of promising Bundesliga coaches are more than capable of stepping into the hotseat at Carrow Road, if given the opportunity.

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