Deadline day and the tale of two Norwich City strikers
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Strikers are, traditionally but not exclusively, the men of the moment when transfer deadline day comes around.
No matter how much importance a manager puts on his team keeping a clean sheet, it is the men who score the goals who are the glory boys.
Manchester City’s decision to spend £50m on full back Kyle Walker raised a few eyebrows, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s deadline day move to Liverpool from Arsenal for a smaller sum arguably claimed bigger headlines. A bit further up the pitch, a bit more glamour.
Alexis Sanchez, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho - the mere mention of their name adds a million quid to their value.
So it was perhaps no surprise that in the slightly less rarefied atmosphere of the Championship, that Norwich City’s deadline day gossip centred around Nelson Oliveira and Cameron Jerome.
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The two strikers – perhaps that should read, Norwich City’s only two main strikers – have dominated pub selection debates since day one, when the Portuguese added his own two penn’orth worth in the guise of his controversial goal celebration.
Anyway, to deadline day: first up was Jerome who was linked with a move to Derby County. The rumoured offer was £3m. Frankly, that doesn’t buy you a 40-year-old non-league reserve team keeper, let alone a player who scored 16 goals last season. Okay, he’s 31 years old, but for a season or two of good, honest toil and a few goals the bid is what some managers would refer to as derisory.
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There were social media suggestions Derby might let one of their players head to Norfolk as part of the deal – Chris Martin was mentioned in despatches but the former Canary didn’t appear to be surplus to requirements. Jason Shackell and Jacob Butterfield were also mentioned – all of which makes you wonder if City are to Derby what Leeds once were to City.
The Oliveira rumours were a little more complex: it seemed any move to Swansea (the Daily Mail claimed they’d had a £12m bid rejected) was dependant on Fernando Llorente moving to Spurs. Swansea’s Plan A was to re–sign Wilfried Bony for – guess what? – £12m. Oliveira was the back-up plan – and you suspect he wouldn’t have taken too kindly to that.
In the end, of course, both Jerome and Oliveira stayed – roll on January.