Earnshaw is priceless, says PG

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says Robert Earnshaw is worth more to him than the money City would receive should they cash in on their leading marksman in January.


Peter Grant says Robert Earnshaw is worth more to him than the money City would receive should they cash in on their leading marksman in January.

Earnshaw's 13-goal haul this season from just 19 games is the best in the Championship and sure to alert a clutch of Premiership clubs - but with that comes the danger of losing one man who could be the difference between Premiership and Championship football next season.

The temptation is to take the money and bring in a clutch of new, cheaper, players. It's a road that Grant wouldn't even consider going down - if he has the choice.

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“I would have rather Robert Earnshaw, there is no doubt in my mind about that,” said the City boss today. “I want to keep him here. I would rather they kept their money and let me keep Robbie Earnshaw. People say I could take the money and bring in two or three players, but I would rather have Robbie here.”

However, Grant admits the final decision simply may not be his to make.

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“You always want to keep your best players and it would cost a lot of money to move him,” Grant said.

“I have no problem with that - I will be delighted if they come knocking at the door for other players, that's the way football is. It means you have a good side, it means you have good players.

“I hope he doesn't go, but at the end of the day, if you get a massive amount of dough for him, what do you do? I don't want to lose him, I want him to be a Norwich player as long as he plays football, and as long as I am manager I want him to be here.

“But the Premier League is where everybody wants to play and if somebody comes in from the Premier League and wants him and they offer us the right money it's not really down to me then, it's really down to Robert.”

January's transfer window will be highly significant this year, but as far as Earnshaw is concerned, Grant has just one hope.

“I will be delighted if he keeps scoring another five, six goals before the end of the Christmas period and goes into January sitting on 18, 19 goals,” he said. “I would be absolutely delighted and hopefully other players will put better performances in and everybody is knocking down the door for them as well, because it means we have made a good side, and we are challenging up there.”

Earnshaw's importance to the Canaries is reflected in the stats which, before the Leicester game he was leading striker in terms of shots on target (44) and shots off target (43).

While the speculation may well centre around Earnshaw, there are bound to be new faces coming in to the club, although much will depend on the movements of other parts of the transfer merry-go-round.

“You always have to keep your eye on the ball, see what's available and obviously that is what we are doing a lot of just now,” added Grant. “We're speaking to a lot of managers, what they are going to have available. Some are saying I will have x, y and z available, but only if we get x, y and z in, so you set your targets. Whether you are able to get them is a completely different matter.”

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