With Twitter and the message-boards abuzz today as we enter the final hours of the transfer window the small matter of a game with Tottenham has been almost overlooked
Instead it’s rumour, counter-rumour, conjecture and good old wishful thinking as we patiently await the unveiling of a striker – one who will surely lead us, goals-a-plenty, to Premier League safety.
I jest of course – whilst City are no longer shopping in the bargain basement, the aisles that Chris Hughton and David McNally currently peruse (as we speak probably) come with no guarantees. This applies to all transfers of course, although it’s fair to say… the fatter the wallet the smaller the risk. I don’t suppose Sir Alex had too many sleepless nights wondering if RVP was going to deliver.
With TalkSport reporting a third unsuccessful bid for Celtic’s Gary Hooper , ‘believed to be around £6 million’, it’s worth reminding ourselves that even if successful in our pursuit of the former Scunthorpe man – or any other striker – the hovering clouds of doubt remain.
Whilst Hooper has been a massive hit in the Scottish Premier League – and is rightly adored by Celtic fans – he won’t arrived accompanied by a cast-iron guarantee. A one goal every 63 minutes record in the SPL is fantastic, but how would that translate to the English version?
Kris Boyd, him of Portland Timbers fame, arrived at Middlesbrough from Rangers off the back of a similar record, yet was unable to replicate anything close – even in the Championship; hence him now gracing the MLS.
Talking of which… the BBC are reporting that City’s MLS target, Kei Kamara has left Sporting Kansas and will sign for City pending a successful work permit application. With US players not having made a massive impact on the Premier League to date – tonight’s visitor Clint Dempsey the most notable exception – an element of risk comes with Kamara’s ability to successfully convert his one goal in three MLS ratio to the Premier league.
Whilst I imagine Kamara to be very much a plan B option – plan C even – one suspects, as the minutes tick by, that he’s currently shifted across from Hughton’s pile of possibles to the probables. And if he arrives in England – and the fine City is his destination –I’m sure he’ll be given the unconditional backing of the Yellow Army.
Luciano Becchio is another whose name has cropped up of late, the EDP again suggesting that he could be City bound, with Steve Morison heading in the opposite direction. Again this would come with an element of risk, with a decent Championship scoring ratio needing to be replicated at the higher level.
I’d be sad to see Morison depart – his nine goals last season being a huge factor in why we stayed in the Premier League – although if he wishes to seek pastures new, who could blame him. The treatment afforded him by some of our number has been less than gracious, not to mention unjustified.
With the Ricky van Wolfswinkel trail appearing to have gone cold, one suspects the numbers being quoted – in excess of £10 million – were sufficient to save McNally an Easyjet trip on the Luton (sorry to mention it) to Lisbon express. If indeed that particular interest has waned, it’s a shame because that signing, above all others, would have been a signal of real intent. If he’d arrived with ability to match the reputation, the sell-on value for Mr van Wolfswinkel would have potentially been lucrative.
But again, no guarantees. Too many risk factors, not least his ability – or otherwise – to handle the hurly burly of the Premier League. Equally, he may have his sights set higher than ‘little Norwich’. If McNally couldn’t seal the deal, it was never destined to be.
Reports have also suggested (busy lot those ‘Reports’ guys) Norwich have had a bid turned down for Birmingham City’s Curtis Davis. Whilst there is certain logic to this – and I’m sure the bid was probably akin to the valuation of van Wolfswinkel’s left leg – one imagines Hughton’s need for a central defender has risen significantly over the last couple of weeks.
With Tottenham in town later, they will be proudly showing off a new signing – in the form of Lewis Holtby. The young German – with an English father – had initially planned to finish the season in the Bundesliga with Schalke, but the deal has now been finalised and he is in Andres Vilas-Boas’ squad for tonight’s game.
Whether he will feature – and whether there’ll be an unlikely Huckerby-style parading of a new City signing – remains to be seen; but with three valuable points at stake, a couple hours of away from the rumour mill will do us all some good.
So… let’s give the ‘Reports’ guys a few hours rest, and instead get 110% behind Hughton and the boys. Three points and we’ll all feel a little calmer.