DOUGIE Freedman looks set to lose the services of Jacob Butterfield after this weekend’s clash with Huddersfield Town.
It is understood Norwich City want to take the England Under-21 midfielder back to Carrow Road after tracking his return to full fitness during his month on loan with Wanderers.
Butterfield has made four appearances for Dougie Freedman’s men, including two starts, and has made good progress since a long-term knee injury picked up at the start of the year during a loan spell at Barnsley.
His loan expires on Saturday, which means he can be included in the squad heading to the John Smith’s Stadium but the Norfolk club want him back in time to face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup quarter-final next Tuesday.
Norwich have not ruled out sending the young Yorkshireman out on loan again in the new year, although Freedman is likely to wait to see how Stuart Holden’s impending comeback goes before committing to a deal.
Speaking at the weekend, Canaries boss Chris Hughton revealed he had been keeping a close eye on Butterfield’s progress and had been encouraged by reports of his performance in Wanderers’ 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.
“In every game that he has been involved in we have had somebody there, so we are certainly monitoring him and I got a phone call not so long after the game in midweek, so we are very aware of how he has done,” he said.
“It possibly goes with his fitness. He hasn’t played every minute in the period of time that he went and gone on to give his best performance.”
Freedman is waiting to see whether Martin Petrov will be fit enough to be involved against Huddersfield after the Bulgarian winger missed last weekend’s defeat against Ipswich Town with a hamstring problem.
Joe Riley played 90 minutes for the development squad on Monday against West Brom and could be brought in at right-back, with Tyrone Mears suspended.
Marvin Sordell also came through a full 90 minutes before being substituted in stoppage time and is pushing for a place on the bench.