‘A big physical presence’ - City legend intrigued by pursuit of striker Hugill
PUBLISHED: 14:31 23 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 23 August 2020
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The potential addition of physical striker Jordan Hugill to Norwich City’s attacking options is an intriguing prospect for Canaries legend Iwan Roberts.
City are understood to still be chasing a deal with West Ham for the 28-year-old former Preston and Middlesbrough striker, with negotiations about a structured deal worth around £5million starting last week.
Hugill scored 13 goals in 39 Championship games while on loan at QPR last season and Roberts - who scored 96 in 306 matches for City between 1997 and 2004 - is pleased by the pursuit of a player of a different style to a poacher like Teemu Pukki.
“The Jordan Hugill one is a particularly interesting one for me,” said Roberts. “A similar player to myself, maybe not quite good enough for the Premier League but if you put him in the Championship - as he proved at Preston and on loan at QPR - he’ll score goals.
“A big physical presence, strong in the air, does this mean that Daniel (Farke) is going to tinker with the system now and then and play two up top with Hugill and Pukki? That would be interesting. That would be a real ‘going back to the 90s’ sort of strike partnership because there are not too many teams that play with two up front now.”
Pukki is expected to stay with the Canaries following relegation, having been named Championship Player of the Season after a brilliant 29-goal campaign in 2018-19 - with youngster Adam Idah in support but Josip Drmic expected to move on.
The Finn’s chief support during that title-winning season was from Jordan Rhodes, who chipped in with six goals in 36 league games - and Hugill could well prove to be a similarly worthwhile addition.
“Whatever you pay for a striker in this day and age, maybe not so much in the Premier League as the Championship, you want more than six goals,” Roberts continued. “But it depends if you’re playing. If you’re having to make do with a place on the bench, starting the odd game and coming off the bench with 15 or 20 minutes to go, it is hard to have an impact on the game.
“But if he’s going to be starting regularly then he’s got to be looking to get at least 15 goals this season. If you can add his 15 goals to what hopefully Teemu is going to reproduce with his form, then winning ways are ahead I think.”
- Roberts was featuring in part two of our season preview series; The Rebound. You can watch the full video chat with the Canaries legend and BBC Radio Norfolk commentator Chris Goreham in the video above