Norwich City has reportedly struck a deal to sign Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon. If the signing comes to fruition it represents a major shift in transfer policy for the club and a genuine show of ambition in the transfer market.
Wolfswinkel was touted around in the January transfer window and I got wildly excited by the prospect of his signing while remaining utterly convinced it would never happen. If David McNally has been able to tie up this deal it’s a huge coup for the club.
Figures being quoted in the Portuguese press are around the €10 million mark which would make him the club’s record signing. He is a goal scorer and it’s an area which often requires big investment to see real progress, it’s also something Norwich has struggled to do all season.
Bids were made for Danny Graham and Gary Hooper in January but neither signing came off, still it hinted towards a willingness to spend more money and identified a clear area of the team Chris Hughton wanted to strengthen.
It seems in light of Sporting’s financial woes Norwich has stolen a march and got the deal done when perhaps others hesitated. The exact nature of the deal should become clear in time and until it does regardless of the amount of press coverage my inner sceptic will attempt to convince me that it can’t possibly be real.
It just isn’t something that happens at Norwich. We’re used to picking at the Championship, preying on clubs who haven’t be able to make the jump to the Premier League, this signing would be something completely different.
It all comes when the threat of relegation is still very real for the football club. Nothing would be more embarrassing then to complete such a major transfer only to be relegated. A couple more wins would help to end all my worst fears, the sooner the better.
With the extra television money coming into the equation survival this season is paramount. Using that money to firmly establish the club in the Premier League is a must. If this is to happen, then signings of the calibre of Ricky van Wolfswinkel are a necessity. It’s new territory for Norwich City, but as a fan I think it’s wonderfully exciting bordering on completely fantastic.
Now the tension will mount until I hear conformation. When that happens I expect to see David McNally doing a victory lap of the city as fans stop to applaud, because if he pulls off this signing it will be well deserved.