Norwich will have to face Premier League giants Chelsea without new signing Daniel Ayala after he was ruled out for two months with a knee injury.
The 20-year-old Spaniard joined from Liverpool earlier this month and was destined to sytart at Stamford Bridge on Saturday until he got injured in Norwich’s 4-0 humbling at home to MK Dons in the Carling Cup in midweek.
The club confirmed the news on their official Twitter feed, posting ahead of Saturday’s game at Chelsea: “Injury blow – Daniel Ayala out for a couple of months with knee injury, Wes Hoolahan being monitored.”
Ayala became manager Paul Lambert’s eighth summer addition 10 days ago when he arrived from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract, bolstering a squad which secured successive promotions from League One to the Premier League.
He had joined the Reds from Sevilla in 2007, but found his first-team opportunities limited at Anfield, and last season spent loan spells in the Championship at both Hull and Derby.
Ayala made his debut in last weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Stoke at Carrow Road, coming on for Anthony Pilkington midway through the second half.
His absence will come as a blow to Lambert, who rates the player highly.
The manager later confirmed Ayala was facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“Dani is going to be out for a few months, which is a blow. But that is football. Whoever plays I’m sure in that position will do their best. Hopefully Elliott Ward is not too far away from being fit.”