Norwich City: Calling True or False on Three Hot Deals
This summer has been a whirlwind of speculation for Norwich City fans. Six deals have been done, while others have failed to materialise. But I’m all about moving forward and looking at some of this speculation on who else might come through the door.
It will come as little surprise that this latest slideshow will focus on three attacking options. Although Norwich City have signed Ricky van Wolfswinkel, he will need both quality support and competition. Therefore, the club is unlikely to be finished in this department quite yet.
It will certainly be interesting to see what other forwards come through the door before the season starts next month. Chris Hughton will be confident that he has already secured his premier goalscorer for next season but also has allowed Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson and James Vaughan to leave the club, Holt being the notable departure as he left looking to help fire Wigan back to the Premier League.
Fans are excited to see what other striking options the club will have up their sleeve in time for the new season. So, join me as I look through some of the recent speculation and offer some thoughts on the players in question.
Ashley Barnes (Brighton)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Buying players who have been plying trade in the Championship is an established path for the club, and it’s something they have done this summer with the signings of Martin Olsson and Nathan Redmond. Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports has recently reported Norwich City is one of a number of clubs that have been tracking the Brighton striker.
Barnes is entering the last year of his contract and may fancy testing himself in the Premier League. The player suffered from a range of injuries last season but still scored nine goals in all competitions. And the season prior to that, he was a scorer of 14 goals. Therefore, it’s clear that he has great potential. It is fair to say that at 23, he still has time on his side to develop his game, and he could certainly learn a lot from Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
The issue for me on this one is how genuine the interest is. I can’t see any real reason why the player wouldn’t want to make the move to Carrow Road. But it might well be that he is on the list of backup targets if certain other deals don’t happen. But the club does need to strengthen the attacking options, and Barnes certainly looks like he has something to offer.
Gary Hooper (Celtic)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
The fact that Norwich City have an interest in Gary Hooper has to be one of the worst-kept secrets in football. But what’s clear is that Chris Hughton’s side are ready to move on if they can’t secure a deal quickly. A report in the Daily Record by Gordon Parks seems to suggest Norwich refuse to pay more than £4 million for the striker’s services and expect Celtic to tell them if they want to accept or not.
Certain odds have seemingly been shifting to suggest that a move to Norfolk is in the cards. But we know that Norwich bid as high £6 million for the striker in January and I can’t help thinking that they have been here before.
I am certainly not adverse to the idea of the striker playing for the club, and I am of the opinion that he could certainly do a good job in the Premier League. He has scored a lot of goals, and you would think he could translate some of that to the EPL.
But I tend to concur with David McNally that he is not worth spending the earth on, and a £4 million transfer fee seems about right for him. There are now other clubs in the mix, and I just can’t see it happening. I just think this one has gone on for too long, and Celtic is keen to get as much money as they can. It doesn’t seem likely that he will come to Carrow Road, unless the striker has his heart set on the Premier League and sees Norwich as his best option. Time will tell, but I think this one is unlikely.
Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Call me insane, but I just have a sneaky feeling about this one. The Italian striker is surplus to requirements with the Serie A Champions due to an influx of strikers at the club. It’s highly unlikely he could expect to start games on a regular basis for the club next season, and at 30 years old, he must feel that he needs top-flight football every week.
The link in the Mirror by John Cross is a strange one, but when Norwich City were first linked with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, no one actually thought it would happen. It’s true to say we could have similar thoughts on Leroy Fer, and now those two players are in the building, so who is to say they can’t add a third star signing to make everyone sit up and take notice.
The striker scored 13 goals in all competitions last season and has also won 25 caps for Italy, so he would certainly add some true international quality to Norwich’s forward line and possibly form a very fruitful partnership with Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Stats from Who Scored also tell us he takes 2.6 shots per match on average, with 71 shots taken in total of Serie A. He also only gets dispossessed an average of once every game, which seems an encouraging statistic. The reported wage demands of £40,000 per week might be a stumbling block, but you never know, and for whatever reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually pulled this one off.