According to ESPN, Norwich City are in pole position to sign Malaga winger Javier Ontiveros. The Spaniard is also courted by Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, but it is the Canaries, who are believed to be leading the chase for Ontiveros. The report claims that the player is keen to move to the Premier League following a promising campaign last term.
Ontiveros’ spell at Malaga
A product of the Malaga youth academy, Ontiveros has been part of the Malaga first-team since 2016. He was involved in 18 league matches in his debut campaign at the club, scoring two goals and providing three assists. But, he wasn’t a prominent part of the first-team, mustering a little over 825 minutes of league football.
In the following campaign, Ontiveros notched up only 380 minutes of league football as the Blanquiazules were relegated. He was, however, loaned out to Real Valladolid in January 2018 and the winger was involved in only one goal in 14 matches.
However, Ontiveros finally made his breakthrough in professional football last season, making 31 league appearances. The 21-year-old scored four goals and provided three assists. And his service on the flanks was critical as Malaga finished third in the second division last season, even though they did end up failing to secure promotion back to the top-flight.
What can Ontiveros bring to the table?
Ontiveros is an explosive winger, whose style of play can be compared to West Ham United star Andriy Yarmolenko. The Spaniard is proficient when it comes to taking on defenders in the wider areas of the pitch while he also tends to get to the byline and provide dangerous crosses into the box. The 21-year-old has a vicious right foot as well. And this is what made him such a feared attacker in the Spanish second division last season.
Should Norwich make a move for Ontiveros this summer?
Norwich City have already reinforced their wide attacking department this summer by bringing in Patrick Roberts from Manchester City. And the addition of Ontiveros could further strengthen their attack as they aim to maintain their Premier League status next season.
As discussed earlier, Ontiveros is someone who likes to probe opposition defences, and this could tune in well under the management of Daniel Farke. The ex-Dortmund youth coach prefers the possession-based football, which should give Spaniard the freedom to conjure up scoring opportunities in the final third.
That being said, retaining the majority of possession will be next to impossible for Norwich against teams of higher quality, and that’s where the Malaga winger may falter. But in hindsight, Ontiveros is, in fact, a viable target for the Canaries.