£450,000 Dickson staying with City

PUBLISHED: 12:11 03 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:06 14 September 2010

Dickson Etuhu looks set to be a full-time Norwich City player by the close of business today.

The 23-year-old is understood to have agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Canaries with the fee likely to be in the region of £450,000.

Dickson Etuhu looks set to be a full-time Norwich City player by the close of business today.

The 23-year-old is understood to have agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Canaries with the fee likely to be in the region of £450,000.

“Hopefully, it'll all go through today,” confirmed City boss Nigel Worthington, with the prospect of Etuhu's arrival being on a full-time basis being mooted from the moment he first stepped through the door on his initial, two-month loan spell from Preston North End.

Tidying up the last piece of paperwork should ensure that Norwich's first piece of business in the reopened transfer window sails through.

“I'm delighted to have been able to get the player - he's a very useful acquisition at a very reasonable price when you consider he came very, very close to joining Everton at the start of the season for nearer £1 million.”

The strapping midfielder was at the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons in yesterday's 3-0 home defeat by Preston after his former Lilywhites team-mate Adam Nowland ended the day in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a double leg break after being on the end of a thumping tackle from Etuhu.

In fairness to the City midfielder, the referee saw little wrong with the challenge - nor did City boss Worthington stood little more than five yards distant.

“I was stood very close to it and it was a very hard, but very fair challenge,” said Worthington, extending his sympathy to the stricken Preston player.

“”I know Adam (Nowland) well - I had him at Blackpool - and to hear that he's got a double leg break is disappointing news. But, as I say, there was no malice in it. hard, but fair - and that's the way football should be played.”

Preston's assistant boss David Kelly refused point-blank to discuss the Etuhu challenge, though admitted he had been spoken to by a police officer as tempers threatened to boil over on the touchline.

As for the game itself, Kelly himself admitted that the fact that Preston's midweek trip to Plymouth had been postponed last week had helped their cause - as had decent organisation, two smart finishes and a generous referee.

“Maybe missing the Plymouth game has done us a favour,” said Kelly afterwards, whose side also sported a brokennose for their troubles after a touchline clash between Ian Henderson and Daniele Dichio.

“What were there?two bookings in the whole game? And we've come away with a broken leg and a broken nose. No it wasn't a physical game at all,” added Kelly with a heavy dollop of sarcasm.

Certainly for Worthington last night's defeat owed much to the frantic festive schedule and, in particular, the effort and energy Norwich had poured into those big wins against Sheffield United and Burnley.

“It's one of those,” said Worthington. “It just wasn't our day. I think the whole situation just caught up with us.

“Sheffield United was a big game and a big three points; Burnley another big game, three points. If you'd said beforehand that we'd take nine points out of 12 over the Christmas period then you'd probably be quite happy.

“And five wins out of six is still excellent. We've just got to get rid of it, get the players recharged and ready for Saturday.”

Once again, how many bodies Worthington will actually have at his disposal for the West Ham United cup clash is a moot point. Darren Huckerby is suspended, while Carl Robinson - who only played yesterday with the help of a pain-killing injection in his cracked ribs - took another big whack in the chest within the game's opening minutes.

If, as feared, Robinson has now aggravated the rib injury further he could join Andy Hughes and Youssef Safri as month-long absentees from City's ever-changing midfield.

Adam Drury also disappeared with a back and hamstring injury and is now officially “doubtful”, while Jurgen Colin is similarly “doubtful” with a groin strain.

Paul McVeigh's fifth bookng of the season ensures he will now be suspended for the trip to Plymouth Argyle on January 14.

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