One of the few Norwich City contingent with prior Premier League experience, Grant Hanley has shown the quality to belong in the topflight in 2019-20.
The club captain has led by example, becoming more than just reliable cover for Ben Godfrey and Christoph Zimmermann by cementing his place in the starting XI with some terrific performances at the turn of the year, earning January’s Player of the Month award in the process.
Here are our top three…
3) Liverpool (H)
It spoke volumes of Hanley’s performances during Godfrey’s suspension that the former kept his place when the latter became available again, as was the case at home to champions elect Liverpool.
A pass success percentage of 77.8 percent saw Hanley earn an overall rating of 7.53 on WhoScored, more than any other Norwich player and only less than Naby Keita in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He also made more interceptions than anyone else on the pitch (six) and blocked more shots (two). Lest we forget this cheeky turn on Roberto Firmino that the Brazilian would have been proud of! 👇
2) Newcastle United (A)
Returning to the club where he spent a single season before joining Norwich, Hanley boasted a 7.72 rating – his best in the Premier League this season.
That came courtesy of an outstanding pass success percentage, with 93.6 percent of his 47 attempted passes reaching their man.
He also made more clearances than anyone else on the pitch (nine) and blocked more shots than any other Norwich player (two) as the sides settled for a point and a clean sheet apiece.
Only Allan Saint-Maximin had a higher rating among outfield players on WhoScored.
1) Burnley (A) – FA Cup
Having represented Blackburn Rovers for eight years across his youth and senior careers, a win against their rivals Burnley was always going to be the cream of the crop for Hanley.
To score a goal? Even better. His muted celebration got the message across after Hanley got his head on the end of a precise Mario Vrancic free-kick, before City saw out a 2-1 win to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
“We won our individual battles and earned the right to play our football,” he told The Telegraph after the game.
Across the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign, Hanley has been involved in three out of the five clean sheets Norwich have kept in the Premier League (against AFC Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Leicester City).
He has also made more interceptions per game than any other Norwich player this season (2.1), so we have Hanley to thank for getting us out of a fair few sticky situations!