After one of the most prolonged transfers for many a year and rumour after rumour, finally the Canaries have secured the services of the highly-rated Wes Hoolahan.
The arrival of Sammy Clingan last week was generally met with approval amongst the City faithful, but given that Hoolahan was undoubtedly one of the star performers in the Championship last season, we can only hope that the calibre of any other subsequent additions to the squad here at Carrow Road are as impressive as the Canaries' second new signing of the summer.
The mercurial Irishman's name would have no doubt been atop the list of several other interested clubs, and to some degree his arrival tempers the controversial decision of City boss Glenn Roeder to release Darren Huckerby at the end of last term.
Any player that possesses the match-winning potential that Huckerby undoubtedly did is always going to be missed no matter who is brought in to replace him – and Norwich will miss the direct raiding impact that Huckerby provided on a matchday, without a shadow of doubt – but in Hoolahan City have just acquired as equally an influential player as the departing hero of the Barclay and someone who also possesses the ability to unlock Championship defences.
In a direct comparison, Hoolahan and Huckerby are like chalk and cheese. Huckerby liked to receive the ball facing his opponent and then generally ran with blistering pace in only one direction ? forward, whereas Hoolahan is adept at receiving with his back to his marker, can spin left or right and relies on quick change of direction and a trick or two in order to create space for himself.
But the pair share a common link in that they can both create a goal and turn a game on its head in an instant.
Hoolahan gave the City rearguard a particularly torrid time on the occasions when he played against them for Blackpool last season by combining his excellent first touch and ability to dribble with the ball with an impressive array of trickery.
He also caught the eye by demonstrating that he clearly isn't a player who will be happy to pigeon-holed into a specific position and accordingly watch the game pass him by if things aren't going according to plan, or he isn't as involved in the game as he would like to be.
In each of the matches against Norwich last term Hoolahan could be found in all areas of the pitch at some point or other, after vacating his orthodox left-wing position whilst going in search of the ball.
And given that he is comfortable receiving the ball under pressure and then swiftly exploiting opposition defences with a run or pass, that creative-licence to ?roam? is something that Roeder mustn't curtail this season.
The one downside to Hoolahan's game in general at the moment is that he can tend to overdo things a little ? one trick too many at times if you like ? but he can easily improve on that score.
It might be that Roeder sees Hoolahan primarily as someone to fill that wide-left berth in order to maintain the balance of the four man midfield that he preferred last term, but the option is available to the City boss to deploy his new signing in the ?hole? in matches if need be ? the position just behind the strikers and in front of the midfielders that opponents often find difficult to deal with – as by operating from a more central position Hoolahan would be constantly involved in the action and therefore afforded more of an opportunity to subsequently deliver maximum damage to opponents when the Canaries are in possession.
As a utility player who can operate anywhere across the middle of the park or even as a shadow striker, the initial ?250,000 that Norwich have reportedly shelled out to secure Hoolahan's signature is ?peanuts? in today's over-inflated transfer market, and he would still be an absolute steal even if the fee eventually rises to double that amount.
A very good piece of business, and a very exciting signing.