Be my lucky number seven
David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder's new-look Norwich City is finally taking shape after he completed his sixth summer signing last night. The Canaries were well on the way to a 3-0 victory over Falkenbergs FF in the second match of their tour of Sweden when they announced they had secured former Arsenal striker Arturo Lupoli, from Fiorentina, on a season-long loan.
City boss Glenn Roeder's new-look Norwich City is finally taking shape after he completed his sixth summer signing last night.
The Canaries were well on the way to a 3-0 victory over Falkenbergs FF in the second match of their tour of Sweden when they announced they had secured former Arsenal striker Arturo Lupoli, from Fiorentina, on a season-long loan.
They were strongly linked with the 21-year-old Italian last week when Fiorentina released a statement claiming they had received an offer from Norwich.
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At the time Roeder denied any knowledge of such a move - but he said last night he had done his homework on Lupoli.
With Roeder confident of naming his seventh new face today or tomorrow, the gaps in the squad list are gradually starting to be filled.
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The City boss also admitted he was an admirer of Coventry striker Michael Mifsud, but would not confirm reports that he was one of three Championship managers trying to sign the 27-year-old Maltese forward, who has been granted a transfer request by the Sky Blues.
"He's a very good player, excellent player," said Roeder. "I first came across Michael when he played for Lillestrom and I was manager at Newcastle and we played them in the Intertoto Cup. It was early in the season, I think it was our first game of the season in the Intertoto. He caused us a lot of problems and I'm not surprised he did well for Coventry. Other than that, I can't say anything about him.
"There's speculation every day about this player and that player this time of the year going to this club and that club. I couldn't expand any more on the fact that I think he proved last year he's an excellent player, small stature but a good goalscorer."
Lupoli, who also played on loan for Derby during his time in England, could make his debut in next Monday's prestige home friendly against Tottenham, and is already looking forward to his new challenge.
"I am very happy to be here and hope to contribute to a great season for Norwich City and to be successful," he said. "I spoke to the manager and I really feel that he wants me here.
"I know a lot about Norwich City - I was with Arsenal when they and my team-mate David Bentley were in the Premier League and I have followed their progress."
Roeder said of Lupoli's arrival: "I'm very pleased. He did very well as a youngster at Arsenal but the standards are so high at Arsenal Football Club.
"He moved on to Derby and played in the side that Billy Davies managed. I've done my homework on him, I've seen him myself and spoken to a few people at Arsenal who I trust. They said at Championship level, like he proved at Derby, if you're making chances he'll take them.
"Character is important to me and I'm told he's an excellent lad around the changing room, which is important because we have got great team spirit and we need to make sure we don't bring anyone in who spoils that and Arturo certainly will add to that team spirit.
"He's an extremely hard-working player and works off the shoulder, makes runs in behind and we now need to find a bigger, more physical striker for him and for Jamie Cureton to play with because Cureton's at his best when he's playing with a bigger striker alongside him, the same as Arturo."
Lupoli signed a five-year deal with Fiorentina 12 months ago but his first team chances were limited behind Adrian Mutu, Christian Vieri, Italian Under-21 international Giampaolo Pazzani and their summer capture from AC Milan, Alberto Gilardino.
Only three of City's six new men were in action last night, but Wes Hoolahan, Sammy Clingan and on-loan defender Elliot Omozusi all took the eye in a polished performance.
"I couldn't be more pleased with them," said Roeder. "I know they've taken their time to arrive but I think our supporters are going to like all of our signings. The ones who have seen them so far I hope will be impressed with them.
"I know it's taken a long time to bring them to the club, but anyone can sign five or six bad players in one day, then five or six bad players the next day. There are hundreds of bad players out there looking for clubs.
"I'm just sifting carefully through the players that are available. We're working to a budget and I've got to make sure I spend every penny carefully. I'm pleased so far with what we've brought in and there's more to come. I think we'll be able to make another announcement today or the day after about another signing that I think is already in the can."
Injury problems persist in defence, with Gary Doherty due for a scan today on a badly swollen ankle.
Jason Shackell should be fit to face Tottenham, but Doherty is less certain to play, while Adam Drury has yet to appear.
"Doc's a little bit more sore than Jason Shackell," said Roeder. "I can be 100 per cent certain about Shack being fit. Doc's still probably 70-30 but we're going to take no chances with Doc and when he gets back to Norwich he's going for a scan to see there's no damage other than severe bruising."