Barnsley confirm signing of Canaries striker Morris
- Credit: John Walton/PA Images
Barnsley have confirmed the signing of Norwich City striker Carlton Morris.
News emerged last week that the 25-year-old's loan at MK Dons was going to be cut short this month, to allow the Canaries to sell their academy product.
Morris' contract was due to expire at the end of this season so Barnsley's interest has at least allowed City to bring in a low fee for a player who has only made one senior appearance for the club.
Morris has signed a deal until 2023 with the Tykes, with the option for a further year, after signing for an undisclosed fee.
Barnsley's chief executive, Dane Murphy, told his club's website: “The club are pleased to get this one over the line, to bolster our attacking options. Carlton has proven he can excel in the EFL and has the requisite skillset to add to our forward line.
“This is a deal that we’ve been working on for some time with our stated aim to get business done as early as possible this month.
“We are looking forward to seeing Carlton contribute and have no doubt that he will be another quality addition.”
The powerful forward is the last of the 2013 FA Youth Cup winners to leave, having been the first choice forward of that U18 squad, when team-mates included the Murphy twins, Harry Toffolo and Cameron McGeehan - scoring a hat-trick against Everton in the sixth round, in a 4-2 win at Goodison Park.
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Morris said: “I'm delighted to sign for Barnsley Football Club and I can't wait to get involved.
"I'd describe myself as offering a bit of everything. I like to think I'm strong and quick, good technically. I know I'm describing a super-player there, so don't expect too much!
"But no, I will leave everything out there on the pitch every time, that is a given, something I pride myself on."
His only senior appearance came as a 19-year-old in March 2015, with Alex Neil bringing Morris on in the 77th minute of a 1-0 Championship defeat to Wigan at Carrow Road. He was also an unused substitute for four league games and four cup ties following that debut but has spent the majority of his career so far on loan.
The Cambridge-born former England Under-19 international had League Two stints at Oxford United and York City during 2014-15, scoring once in a combined 18 matches.
The 2015-16 season was spent in the Scottish Premiership with Neil's former club Hamilton Academical, scoring eight goals in 33 games to get his senior career up and running.
After being restricted to appearances at development level when back in Norwich, the second half of 2016-17 brought eight appearances as Rotherham unsuccessfully battled Championship relegation.
It was 2017-18 when Morris really got going though, with 10 goals in 53 appearances for Shrewsbury, experiencing Wembley defeat in the EFL Trophy final and the League One play-off final.
The play-off final proved a particularly painful day, injuring knee ligaments and initially trying to play on before admitting defeat. He returned to action for City's U23s in January 2019 but a poor tackle from a Leicester defender in a Premier League Cup tie forced him off with an ankle injury after 35 minutes.
After three further U23 appearances at the end of 2019-20, Morris signed a new contract to add a year and take his deal upto 2021 as he returned to Rotherham and League One, scoring four goals in 28 games before switching to MK Dons in January.
That saw him link up with former Canaries team-mate Russell Martin, scoring twice in 10 games before returning to Stadium MK for this season alongside fellow City loanee Louis Thompson.
He had been a regular starter for Martin's team, scoring four goals in 27 games and joined up front in recent months by veteran former Norwich striker Cameron Jerome.
So City legend Martin was disappointed to be losing Morris, telling the MK Citizen last month: "When a player isn't ours, it's difficult. Norwich have been open and honest about interest in Carlton so we'll have to wait and see.
"People are interested in him because he's a very good performer at this level and can definitely play higher. For the last few weeks in particular, he has been outstanding, a really top performer."
Now he joins Valerien Ismael's forward ranks at Oakwell, where the French coach has made a big impact for the Tykes, pushing leaders Norwich hard in a 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road on Saturday which left them ninth and three points adrift of the play-offs.
City are scheduled to travel to Barnsley in the return league fixture on the final day of the Championship season, on Saturday, May 8.
They host League Two side Tranmere in the FA Cup third round on Sunday but Morris is cup-tied having played in the earlier rounds for MK Dons.