Former Aberdeen goalkeeper Bryan Gunn reckons Kenny McLean will be crucial to Norwich’s rebuilding job.
The Canaries endured a difficult season in the Premier League and were relegated straight back to the Championship, finishing 14 points from safety.
Norwich lost all nine league games after football returned from lockdown and now must face the inevitable scouring of their prospects from bigger clubs.
Just this week full-back Max Aarons was linked with a move to Bayern Munich, while Ben Godfrey and Emi Buendia have also been touted with moves away after relegation.
Ex-Don McLean, who moved to Carrow Road in 2018, has been a consistent figure this season, appearing in 34 of their 38 league games. At 28, he is also one of the older heads in Daniel Farke’s squad, which will kick-off in the second tier in September.
Gunn said: “Kenny is one of the elder figures down there and a calming influences. When he gets the ball he takes care of it and normally his passing is top quality.
“I think Kenny could be an important kingpin in the whole thing next season, depending on who stays and who goes. The fans love him as well so when fans get back in the stadium and get behind their team, hopefully they’ll be firing on all cylinders.
“It’s probably an experience they’ll come through now and it’ll be interesting to see how they reshape their squad. Whether they sell the youngsters and try and keep the rest – they’ll have an interesting next few weeks I imagine. They’ll be batting back some of the big guns for the ones they’ve got.”
Another ex-Don Gunn keeps an eye is young goalkeeper Archie Mair, who moved from his native Turriff to Norfolk last year.
Mair has primarily played for Norwich’s under-23s this season but has made the bench for the senior squad on several occasions.
The 19-year-old Dons academy product will continue his development in the 2020-21 campaign with a loan move to Kings Lynn, who have just been promoted to the Vanarama National League.
Gunn added: “He seems to have settled in well. I know he’s played a lot of under-23s games and the next stage for him is going on loan.
“He’s going to play in the National League, which will be a good test for him. I saw he was on the bench last weekend. I said to him when he signed that I hoped he’d have as good a career as the last goalkeeper who came down from Aberdeen.
“He’s got a long way to go yet but all the reports I’m getting are good.”