Norwich City has announced that they have fired head coach David Wagner. The decision comes just a day after the club was knocked out of the Championship playoffs. The Canaries finished on level terms with Leeds United at home in the first leg of the matchup. Nevertheless, Wagner’s side was eventually thumped 4-0 by the Whites on Thursday. The defeat means that Norwich will spend a third consecutive campaign in the second-tiered English division.

“David has operated with class and dignity throughout his period as Norwich City head coach, but we now feel that the time is right for us to move in a different direction,” stated Norwich sporting director Ben Knapper.

“We remain committed to progressing our football club, in both the short and long term, working through a diligent and thorough strategy. The appointment of a new head coach is an important one. We will now work and continue our due diligence with the view of making an appointment in the near future.”

German coach failed to bring Norwich back to Premier League

Wagner departs the Canaries after just 16 months at the helm. The German manager was initially brought in to help right the ship in January of 2023. With the club sitting 11th in the Championship table, Wagner attempted to bring the team into a potential playoff spot.

Although he did do so two months into the job, Norwich eventually faded and finished 13th in the final table. Wagner was winless in his last six matches of the 2022/23 season. Despite the disappointing end to the season, the German held on to his job for the current campaign.

Under Wagner, the Canaries scored plenty of goals but had defensive issues. United States men’s national team striker Josh Sargent led the club with 16 scores on the season. The forward’s stellar campaign was even more impressive considering he missed significant time due to an ankle injury.

In fact, the American’s goals per 90 minutes were second best in the entire league only to Leicester City‘s Jamie Vardy. Sargent is expected to be targeted by Premier League clubs during the upcoming summer transfer window.

Arsenal assistant linked with open Norwich coaching position

With Wagner now out, Norwich will be in the market for a new manager. One coach who is being linked with a switch to the Canaries is Carlos Cuesta. The Spaniard is currently working as an assistant under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.

While Cuesta did not have a lengthy career as a top player, he did opt to become a coach at the young age of 18. Now 28, Cuesta has a fairly impressive résumé during his career. He previously worked as assistant manager with Atletico Madrid and Juventus youth teams. Cuesta has been at Arteta’s side since joining the Gunners in 2020.

The Spaniard also has specific ties to Norwich’s aforementioned sporting director. Knapper previously worked with Arsenal as their loans manager in recent years. Cuesta has droves of supporters within the north London club. The Canaries will likely not be the only club targeting the young coach.