The World Cup is now only eight days away and plenty of foreign players will be looking to impress, hoping to shine brightly enough to earn a deal in England.
But City boss Paul Lambert will not be in any rush to send his new chief scout Ewan Chester on an all expenses paid trip to South Africa over the next few weeks.
He’s not going to dismiss any advice given to him by Chester, far from it, but Lambert is quick to explain his stance and the complications that can arise when buying players from abroad.
“I don’t want to fill the club with foreign lads; I think if you do that you can create your own problems,” he told reporters yesterday at the press conference to welcome Steven Smith to Carrow Road.
We must remember, of course, that Lambert has had experience of both sides of the coin within the squad at Celtic, and as part of the Champions League winning team at Borussia Dortmund, where he was a hero in the eyes of the club’s fans.
The Scot is not completely against players from Europe; after all, City’s very own Jens Berthel Askou is Danish and Lambert is a confirmed admirer. It seems the big centre-back is a special case, however.
“It’s different if they are the Scandinavian type, those sorts of players are like British lads.”
It is a road some previous managers should have possibly taken to with similar caution but Lambert is shrewd enough to never say never.
In the right situation, someone might just fit the bill. “I like lads I have seen myself and Ewan will come back and say this is it, ‘you have a look’. It doesn’t matter to me whether he’s European or not if I think he can do a job for this club.”
One thing is certain though, he is no longer alone in his recruitment drive, after the appointment of his friend and former Old Firm adversary Chester.
“I’ve known him for a few years,” Lambert said. “We became friends and when he went to Fulham, I used to go down and see him there.”
Chester was quick to state how happy he was to be working with a old friend in Lambert and a former colleague in Canary chief executive David McNally, who he knows from his Fulham days.
“The club has people I trust and respect and obviously it is a very progressive club with a great set up and training ground. There is a chance to do something here,” said the man who spent 20 years at Ibrox.
Chester’s work in Norfolk started this week and despite being a newcomer to these parts, his message was simple. “If they can play the game and I think they’re worth a look then I will certainly look at them.”
Don’t go too far away tomorrow as there is an exclusive chat with former Norwich goalkeeper Andy Marshall heading your way, with Robert Green, City’s Championship return and his goalkeeping Academy all up for discussion.
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