Hopefully Norwich City and Mario Vrancic can reach an agreement over a new contract
Having started the season on the fringes of the first team, you would have forgiven Mario Vrancic for questioning where his Norwich City career was heading.
Despite making such a significant impact in a yellow shirt since arriving from Darmstadt in 2017, the Bosnian midfielder has found it hard to nail down a regular place in the starting XI over the last few years.
In fact, he only started 20 out of a possible 84 league games during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. And with the summer arrival of Kieran Dowell, Mario once again found himself given a largely watching brief.
Those late goals against Birmingham and Wycombe were enough to see him handed a first start of the season – in the eighth game – at Brentford, but that was followed by another five-game stint on the bench.
However, he was arguably one of the main beneficiaries of autumn’s injury crisis and is now having his most consistent spell in the team since his first season at the club, with 13 starts in the 17 league games.
For me, Mario is one of the most technically gifted players in the Championship – with an ability to pick a pass that is second to none.
Of course the physical side of his game is an area of relative weakness, but we’ve seen time and time again what a difference he can make. Those two magical assists in the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road the particular highlight.
We also saw it for the opening goal against Stoke City last Saturday, providing a neat flick into the path of Todd Cantwell to fire home.
Whether Mario’s future lies at Carrow Road beyond this season still remains unclear. The Bosnian is out of contract this summer and turns 32 in May.
It sounds as if talks will take place over the coming weeks and I hope a deal is struck that will see Mario extend his stay into a fifth season.