Lee: I can't wait to get started
PUBLISHED: 14:09 29 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 14 September 2010
City boss Nigel Worthington declared himself "excited and delighted" at finally securing his first summer signing - after Manchester City winger Lee Croft agreed a three-year deal with the club.
City boss Nigel Worthington declared himself “excited and delighted” at finally securing his first summer signing - after Manchester City winger Lee Croft agreed a three-year deal with the club.
The 21-year-old called the Canaries yesterday to confirm he would join them. He will cost City £600,000 plus a further £100,000 if he helps them back into the Premiership.
Right-sided attacker Croft, who was in Norwich on Wednesday for talks and a medical before returning north to discuss the move with his family, is not expected back in Norwich until tomorrow night, so he was not considered for today's final pre-season friendly against Northampton Town at Carrow Road.
But after waiting 13 weeks for the first new face of the close season, an extra day will not be a great inconvenience to manager or fans.
“I'm excited and delighted. It's a position we have looked to fill in the last 18 months to two years and it has been very difficult to do so,” said Worthington.
“Now we have finally got somebody to fill that role. Lee will be a huge asset to us with his direct style, his pace and his general approach to the game.
“He will excite people because he's the sort of player who will dribble, take full-backs on and get crosses in and, with his pace on one side and Darren Huckerby on the other, I'm looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.
“I've just spoken to Lee and he told me that once he'd seen the training ground and the stadium and met the staff, he practically made his mind up straightaway. He had options from other clubs but felt what he had seen here was right for him.
“He met Martin Hunter again - he already knows Martin and Ian Henderson from his days with England.
“He will be down on Sunday night and ready to train with us on Monday. I am looking forward to working with him.
“He will be a little bit behind on his fitness so we'll see what his levels are on Monday. The work we will put into him here will make him a better player.
“I'm sure he will be a very, very good signing for us and I think he could prove a bargain at that price.”
Former England Under-19 international Croft said: “I came down last week to meet the manager and have a look around and I was really impressed with the facilities and the club in general. I can't wait to get everything sorted out and then join the rest of the lads for training in the build-up to the game at Leeds.”
Wigan-born Croft came through the ranks with Manchester City, where he made 32 appearances, 28 of them as a substitute. He netted his only goal in the Premiership last year against Fulham.
Worthington said he was still hoping to bring in another new face before the Coca-Cola Championship campaign kicks off at Leeds next Saturday.
“If there is the possibility of maybe a loan to add to our squad, we will keep working at that. We will be putting some calls in over the next 10 days or so and just seeing where they are at regarding some of the targets that we have identified.”