by Thomas Rooney
First things first – I am very pleased that we have finally captured the signature of Wes Hoolahan from Blackpool. We have been linked with him all summer and it feels good to actually get someone that we are constantly rumoured to be after – good work Glenn.
The best thing about this transfer though is that it will certainly not go unnoticed by the rest of the Championship clubs. Hoolahan had a fantastic season for Blackpool last year and was their stand out player against many teams. A quick browse through opposition’s message boards will tell you that. The price we have got him for – £250k plus a goalkeeper who never played for us – is a bargain. I look forward to seeing him flying down that left wing in the style of a certain Mr Huckerby. I’m aware that they are different types of players, but hopefully he can make a similar impact as Hucks – that would definitely be money well spent. No pressure Wesley…..
I mentioned the goalkeeper we have let go to Blackpool as part of the deal – Matthew Gilks. From what I saw of him in the reserves, he looked a solid keeper. As much as it would have been nice to keep him, you can’t deny the lad first team football and good luck to him. Two things pop in my head when considering all this though – didn’t Hoolahan have a release clause of £250k? If so, why did we have to give Blackpool our reserve keeper as well? Perhaps there was plenty of other clubs interested and Gilks was the deal breaker for Blackpool to allow him to come to us – who knows.
The second thing is – why would any keeper want to join us? We have recently let two talented keepers (Gilks and Lewis) leave the club without playing a game for us. Hardly an advert for coming to Carrow Road as a reserve keeper is it? It will be interesting to see who we get in as another keeper, if we do at all. With Declan Rudd set to sign a professional contract, perhaps he will be David Marshall’s reserve?
Anyway, back to the transfer situation. As far as football betting goes, I think it is safe to say that Hoolahan isn’t the last of the signings. He joins Sammy Clingan as the players who have joined this summer and I would expect another 4 permanent signings before the season starts. Then it may have to be another 4 or 5 loans to complete the squad. Of course, this all depends on the ‘investment’ we are rumoured to be getting. I’m not really prepared to comment on this, but I do think we have more money available than the club is letting on.
So who will these four permanent signings be? Well, we need a centre back (Gorkss from Blackpool), we need a striker (Andy Cole), we need another midfielder (Bell or Gow?) and a goalkeeper (anyone’s guess). This is what we need at the very least. Other players linked include Ameobi, Albrechtsen, SIbierski and Dos Santos – all players I would be very happy with. We are slowly putting together a stronger squad. Admittedly, I thought that last summer – but this time I really mean it. In terms of players linked with us, here is my ideal line up for the start of next season:
Otsemobor Gorkss Shackell Drury
Chadwick Fozzy Clingan Hoolahan
Of course, this is very much subject to change. The likes of Bell, Albrechtsen, Gow and Cole would all fancy a start if they were to sign. Then you have the loan signings – with possibly Bertrand and Super Ched returning – and it does show the type of squad we can put together.
I expect the next week to be very busy on the transfer front and it could be an exciting few days to be a Norwich fan. The constant rumours are enjoyable and speculation provides much discussion, but it is time for that all to stop. Things are starting to happen now. Maybe, the fact that Hoolahan hasn’t been officially unveiled yet is because Roeder is waiting on three or four others to ‘present to the press’ all at once? Now that would be rather exciting. It could just mean, of course, that Hoolahan is on holiday – but I like my theory better. I guess we will have to just wait and see.