Ben Gibson: Norwich 'knew more about me than me' at loan meeting
Written by Training Ground Guru — April 21, 2021
DEFENDER Ben Gibson has revealed the lengths that Norwich went to to sign him on loan from Burnley last year - and how they ‘knew more about me than me’ at their first meeting.
We’ve previously reported how important loans have become to top clubs, who employ specialist Loan Managers and require presentations from teams that are interested in their players.
Now Gibson, 28, has relayed how Norwich sent a delegation of Sporting Director Stuart Webber, manager Daniel Farke and Head of Performance and Recruitment Analysis Lee Dunn to try and persuade him to opt for them when he was weighing up a move from Burnley at the end of last season.
“This is no exaggeration, the analyst knew more about me than me,” Gibson told 5 Live. “They put a presentation up and left no stone unturned.
“They knew about charity work I’d done back at home in Middlesbrough away from the club, they knew which surgeon had done a previous hernia operation, they knew everything.
“They were incredibly detailed, incredibly professional. I went into the meeting very open minded, different clubs had been bandied about. I walked out and was completely sold.
“They had videos of the training ground, videos of the city; the way the manager knew so much about me, the way I wanted to play. Stuart knew about me as a person and they both told me in no uncertain terms what they wanted me to bring and why they were trying to sign me and it was just really, really refreshing.”
The meeting persuaded Gibson to sign for Norwich, despite serious interest from hometown club Middlesbrough, where he first made his name.
The centre-half has gone on to make 29 appearances for Norwich as they sealed their return to the Premier League and this week the Canaries confirmed they had taken up the option to sign him on a permanent £8m deal.
Gibson added: “I can’t get over how well run the club is from top to bottom. They were unbelievable, so detailed, and from the minute I signed it wasn’t just something you hear on the first day and that’s the end of it, they followed through on every promise, they followed through on every detail they spoke about.
“Stuart was honest. He said ‘look, Norwich City, we’re not going to be the biggest club in the world, we’re not Real Madrid, but there are elements of what we can control that we’ll do to the best of our ability.’
“And that’s what they did, from nutrition to staffing to the training ground, it’s just a constant work of development and I can’t speak highly enough of any of them.”