5 Strikers Who Could Make a Difference to Norwich City
Well, it's that time of year again and the mad scramble that is the January Transfer Window is officially open for business.
Norwich City have so far enjoyed a solid season in the Premier League to date, but the opening of the window may have come at the best possible time for them with the Club having suffered four defeats on the bounce.
Ever since the closure of the previous transfer deadline in the summer, the general opinion amongst Canaries followers has been that City are short of options up front and it's hard to argue against that claim with Chris Hughton's men amongst the lowest scorers in the division.
Now, they have a chance to add to their fire-power and a whole host of strikers have been linked in recent weeks.
Here are the pros and cons of five forwards that could potentially come through the doors at Carrow Road.
Linked Previously: Will Mackail-Smith Finally become a Canary?
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Current Club: Brighton & Hove Albion
Overriding Positive: Phenomenal work rate
Overriding Negative: Modest goal-scoring record at higher levels
The name of Craig Mackail-Smith is one that will be entirely familiar with most Norwich City fans, with the Scottish International reportedly having been close to joining the Club on at least two previous occasions.
His blistering form two seasons ago for Peterborough United in League One caught the eye of former boss Paul Lambert. Even a change of manager this summer didn't prevent admiring glances from Carrow Road with Chris Hughton allegedly failing to bring Mackail-Smith to Norfolk with a deadline day bid according to Sky Sports.
Now, The Daily Mail have speculated that Hughton will return with another offer to lure the Brighton man away in the current window. It remains to be seen if it will be a case of third time lucky for the Canaries.
The signing of Mackail-Smith would certainly add a different dimension to the Norwich front line, with his tireless work rate clearly a key attraction.
However, despite enjoying a fruitful season with 11 goals to his name so far this campaign, Mackail-Smith has never really been prolific at Championship level which begs the question of whether he could be so in the Premier League?
Canary Crusher: Graham has a great scoring record against Norwich
Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Current Club: Swansea City
Overriding Positive: Proven Premier League Goalscorer
Overriding Negative: Lacking Match Sharpness
Danny Graham is a name that has been heavily linked with Norwich City in the lead up to the January window, with the forward admitting to Sky Sports that he is frustrated at the lack of game time he is getting at Swansea City.
The inspirational purchase of Michu has come at a cost for Graham with the former Middlesbrough trainee slipping down the pecking order at the Liberty Stadium, despite enjoying a fantastic season last time out in which he netted 14 times.
Graham is arguably a more natural finisher than the current crop of strikers that Norwich currently have at their disposal, and for that reason welcoming him to Norfolk would probably prove popular amongst Canaries fans.
Despite his obvious attributes, City fans would also be relieved to not have to worry about a striker who always seems to score against them with Graham having found the back of the net in four of his last five games against their team.
If the 27-year-old were to join however, he would need time to get back up to match fitness having spent the majority of this year sat on the bench.
What's more, competition for his signature is likely to be fierce with Reading in particular thought to be admirers of Graham's abilities after Brian McDermott confirmed in the Daily Mirror that he hopes to bring the striker to the Club.
Great Season: Austin has been scoring for fun at Burnley
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Current Club: Burnley
Overriding Positive: Has scored goals at every Club he has played for
Overriding Negative: Unproven at Premier League Level
Charlie Austin is another striker that Norwich City fans have seen a fair bit of in the past, with the 23-year-old having been part of the Swindon Town team that reached the League One play-off final back in 2010 as the Canaries bounced back to The Championship at the first time of asking.
Since then, Austin has moved on to Burnley where he has continued to bang in the goals on a regular basis and this season he became the quickest-ever player to reach 20 goals for the Club before the end of November after breaking Bert Freeman's' long-standing record.
Of course, that sort of return has inevitably sparked interest from the Premier League although Clarets boss, Sean Dyche, told Burnley's Official Website that Austin will not be sold in January.
However, if a big bid was to come in for the player it would be hard to deny him the chance to test himself in one of the greatest leagues in the world and with such a phenomenal goal-scoring record, he will have a chance of thriving.
The Only concern is Austin lacks experience in the Premier League so such a large outlay would be a risk, but he will never know if he is good enough unless he gets the chance to prove himself.
Ready: Mulenga has admitted that he wants to move to England
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Current Club: FC Utrecht
Overriding Positive: Has the physical attributes to succeed in England
Overriding Negative: Involvement in the African Cup of Nations
FC Utrecht's Jacob Mulenga has been touted for a move to the Premier League as a result of his superb form in the Eredivisie, and the Zambian added fuel to the fire following an interview with the BBC in which he admitted that he was hopeful of completing a move to England in January.
Norwich City in particular have been credited with an interest in the powerful front-man, with The Daily Mail suggesting that he could be set for a move to the Club.
However, Canaries Chief Executive David McNally moved to quash such rumours by taking to twitter to deny that a deal had been reached with Mulenga but it would still come as little surprise if City were to follow up their reported interest in the striker.
After a fairly nomadic career, Mulenga has found his best form at Utrecht and would be an ideal candidate to play up front on his own in Hughton's preferred system if he were to join later in the window.
Despite the positives, Mulenga's involvement in the African Cup of Nations would probably prove to be a large stumbling block and the player has already suffered the misfortune of two anterior Cruciate Ligament ruptures so far in his career to date.
Hooperman: Hooper has been a revelation in Scotland
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Current Club: Celtic
Overriding Positive: A Natural Goalscorer
Overriding Negative: Considerable Price tag
The potential purchase of Gary Hooper would be a monumental coup for a club of Norwich City's stature, with the Celtic hit-man reportedly attracting the attention of the likes of Juventus according to Sky Sports.
Despite such illustrious interest, in recent days TalkSPORT have suggested that the Canaries could be leading the way in the hunt for Hooper's signature after Chris Hughton was spotted at Celtic Park in the Bhoys recent 1-0 victory over Motherwell this week.
The Celtic forward has been a terrific signing for Neil Lennon's side after completing a £2 million plus switch to Scotland from Scunthorpe United in 2010, registering a hugely impressive 62 goals in 106 games for the Club.
The sceptics amongst you will argue that Hooper has not been playing at the highest level in the shape of the SPL, but he still scored goals for fun in a struggling Scunthorpe side in the Championship prior to his move to Celtic.
Now, Hooper may need to move on once more to fulfil his international ambitions with England and Norwich would have to hope that he would be attracted to the prospect of regular first team opportunities at Carrow Road if the opportunity arose to sign him.
However, The Hoops are likely to demand big money for their prized asset and such an investment may be beyond City's grasp at this time.
Follow Andy Ward on Twitter