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Norwich City column: Marcelino Núñez showing promise as Canaries prepare to welcome Sunderland to Carrow Road

There are few in this Norwich City squad – perhaps even in the league – who possess greater technical ability than Marcelino Núñez.

When the Chilean international is in full flow, his range of passing is exquisite, as is his penchant for nonchalantly scoring screamers.

That’s why his failure to consistently impact games during his 18-months at Carrow Road has been both a source of frustration and puzzling in equal measures.

Norwich City columnist Edward Seaman has been impressed with Marcelino Núñez in recent weeks.
Norwich City columnist Edward Seaman has been impressed with Marcelino Núñez in recent weeks.

I’ve often found myself asking whether we have found the role to get the best out of Núñez, and also whether he is capable of standing up to the physical demands of the Championship. On both counts, the answer has typically been no.

But in the last few weeks, Núñez has started to move in the right direction. David Wagner himself said he is currently one of the first names on the team sheet.

I thought his performance in the 4-1 win over Cardiff was excellent. I was particularly impressed by the way he controlled the midfield, akin to a prime Tom Trybull or David Fox, making a season-high 117 passes.

It was a more difficult afternoon at Blackburn last weekend, but Núñez still found a way to make an impact, scoring a sublime free kick to give us a first-half lead. The challenge for the 23-year-old is to find that next level to his game, and deliver it consistently. If he can, he has a bright future ahead of him.

It was a real shame we couldn’t hold on to three points at Ewood Park. With Hull and West Brom drawing, it would have given us a significant boost in the race for the play-offs.

But as it is, we are still very much in the fight – with Sunderland the visitors to Carrow Road this weekend.

Victory against the Black Cats, who come into the game on the back of three straight defeats, would probably put their top six ambitions to bed, making it a five-horse race for the final two spots.

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