The worst kept secret in Norfolk finally came out late this afternoon as pacy Swindon winger Anthony McNamee signed for City on loan.
The deal initially runs until January 4 but sources in Wiltshire have confirmed that the 26-year-old is set to become a permanent Canaries player when the transfer window reopens in January.
McNamee started his career at Watford and he was given his debut by manager Gianluca Vialli on 16 March 2002 against Coventry.
But fears about his fitness, along with his physical stature, put pressure on his footballing career, and he went on to make only 91 appearances for the Hornets between 2002-2008.
McNamee spent time at Barnet and Crewe Alexandra on a temporary basis before joining the Robins for an undisclosed fee in January 08.
He has impressed during his time at the County Ground, making 79 appearances, and the midfielder was first linked with a move to Norwich in late August with Paul Lambert confirming his interest in the player – only for finances to scupper any potential deal.
In September, Danny Wilson issued a ‘hands off!’ warning as rumours circulated that City were on the verge of tabling an offer.
“Macca’s going nowhere. If we wanted him to go he would have gone already, so that answers everything. He’s going nowhere at all,” he told the Swindon Advertiser.
But Lambert has now got his man. And with the capture of Peterborough right-back Russell Martin yesterday, the Scot will be happy that he has finally been able to inject some fresh blood into the squad.
“I saw him play a few years ago when I was at Wycombe in a pre-season friendly against Watford. He was on one wing and Ashley Young the other and I remembered him,” he told the club’s official site.
“I then saw him again when I was at Colchester and he was quick, and he hasn’t lost that. So I’m glad we have got him in and he gives us another option.”
On joining the Canaries, McNamee said he was delighted that the move was finally done and dusted, even though he won’t be able to feature in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy or FA Cup having already represented Swindon in those competitions.
“I’m very excited really to be playing here. Hopefully I’ll bring some excitement, get balls into the box and create some goals.
“You’ve got a very good team here, obviously you can tell that by the position you are in, in the league. Every time I’ve played against Norwich it’s been a tough game anyway so I look forward to playing.”