Are Norwich City in Better Shape After the January Transfer Window?
Well, the January transfer window has now officially slammed shut, and clubs up and down the land will now have to go with what they've got.
As it was, Norwich were unable to meet the Scottish giants' price tag for Hooper, but the club were able to bring in Lee Camp, Kei Kamara and Luciano Becchio to boost the options available to Chris Hughton.
Here is a look at the key arrivals and departures at Carrow Road during the month and how they will effect the Canaries fortunes in the second half of the campaign.
In: Lee Camp
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The signing of Lee Camp was a purchase that made sense on a number of levels, as pointed out in one of my previous articles.
The move appears to have worked so far, with Bunn in inspired form in the two Premier League games since Camp's unveiling, as highlighted by his marvelous penalty save in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers.
As predicted, the signing has also allowed promising keeper Declan Rudd to go out and get some vital first team experience at Preston North End, with Chris Hughton reluctant to throw Rudd in at the deep end with so much at stake.
It may well be that Camp doesn't make a first team appearance during his stay in Norfolk. Having the luxury of a quality alternative to Bunn can only be good news for Hughton, and I'm sure that Camp will perform well if he is ever called upon.
In: Kei Kamara
Like many Norwich fans, I don't confess to knowing a great deal about the loan addition of Kei Kamara, so it will be interesting to see whether the Sierra Leone international can adapt to the thrills and spills of Premier League life.
The 28-year-old forward has really got his career back on track since moving to Sporting Kansas City back in 2009, becoming one of only three players to hit nine goals or more in each of the last three MLS seasons.
That sort of form attracted attention from Europe, with Kamara undergoing an unsuccessful trial at Stoke City in 2012.
Now he has got his shot at the big time with the Canaries and will undoubtedly try to grab it with both "heart-shaped hands."
Of course, the step up from the MLS to the Premier League is a giant leap, but Kamara possesses the physical attributes to suggest that he could thrive if given the service.
Kamara has signed on loan until May, which, like the Camp deal, will allow the club to have a closer look at him before making a more definite decision in the summer with Norwich City having the option to make the move permanent if they choose to do so.
In: Luciano Becchio
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It just wouldn't be the transfer window without Norwich City buying a player from Leeds United, with the Canaries having now remarkably attracted a Leeds player in each of the last four transfer windows!
Argentinian hitman Luciano Becchio was the latest talent to seek pastures new in Norfolk, with the 29-year-old signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with the club.
The move saw Steve Morison head in the opposite direction in addition to a small undisclosed fee, and Norwich will be hoping that Becchio will provide the extra firepower needed to get them over the finishing line this season.
Becchio has consistently hit the back of the net for a number of years now in Yorkshire, culminating in 19 goals in 29 appearances for Neil Warnock's mid-table side this season.
The form he has shown during this campaign is likely to have been the decisive factor in persuading Chris Hughton to bring the striker to Carrow Road, especially after failing to prize Gary Hooper away from Celtic.
The Canaries' boss will hope that Becchio can continue to score goals at a higher level.
It's obvious that Becchio is a natural goalscorer, and if given the chances, I'm confident that he will put them away more often that not.
Out: Steve Morison
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With Becchio arriving at the club, Steve Morison was included as the make-weight in the swap deal and again this is a departure that could benefit all parties concerned.
Despite a more than respectable goal-scoring return in his maiden Premier League season last time out, Morison was never really taken to by the fans and in my opinion received a lot of unfair criticism.
The problem that the Welshman faced was that he was not Grant Holt, with the club's supporters always comparing Morison to the almost super-human work-rate of the Canaries skipper.
This season, Morison has found first-team opportunities increasingly hard to come by with Chris Hughton favouring a 4-2-3-1 formation and a fresh start should do Morison a world of good.
The 29-year-old is a proven goal-scorer in the Championship, and I would expect him to make an impact in the second half of the season at Elland Road as Leeds desperately try to propel themselves into one of the play-off places.
Out: Elliott Ward
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The January transfer window also appeared to spell the end of Elliott Ward's time at the club. The defender is rejoining Nottingham Forest on a loan deal until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move in the summer.
The centre-back was a regular in Norwich City's promotion winning campaign but struggled to make any real impact in the top flight and ultimately failed to make the Canaries 25-man squad this year.
Like Morison, this move will allow him to get game time that he simply wouldn't be able to achieve at Norwich City, and he can now focus on helping Forest climb The Championship table.
In truth, the second tier is probably his standard, but his contribution in propelling Norwich to the Premier League shouldn't be forgotten in a hurry.
Out: Simon Lappin
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The saddest departure in January was that of Simon Lappin, who finally left the club after six years of superb service.
The Scot was affectionately christened "The King of Spain" by the Canaries faithful, thanks to his Mediterranean appearance, and was there every step of the way through Norwich's roller coaster journey in the last few seasons.
Although never the greatest player, his commitment and passion for the shirt is something that could never be faulted. He gained massive respect from the supporters for sticking with the club, despite being made to train with the youth team under Glenn Roeder's regime.
Now, it appears that Lappin could be back in the Premier League as soon as next year after joining high-flying Cardiff City, who look destined for top-flight football next season after opening up a 10-point lead at the top of The Championship.
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All in all, I think that it is fair to say that it was a relatively successful transfer window for Norwich City.
The fact that the club managed to keep hold of their best players can be seen as a massive positive as the Canaries aim to really establish themselves as a Premier League club for some time to come. Letting go of some of their fringe players will free up much-needed space on the wage bill.
I think it's obvious that ideally Norwich would liked to have attracted at least one more top class striker—the persistent pursuit of Gary Hooper showed that—but it is so much harder to find value for money in January with clubs having so little time to replace key players.
Hopefully, the three new faces will provide the boost needed to secure Premier League football again for next season, at which point the money that wasn't spent in this window will be available to Chris Hughton to significantly strengthen the squad in the summer.
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