French window swoop for Norwich City
David Cuffley The loan arranger rode to the rescue once again for Norwich City late last night as manager Glenn Roeder snapped up Wigan's Antoine Sibierski. The signing of the 34-year-old French striker, until January 18, made him the eighth loan player in the current Canaries' squadfollowing the capture earlier in the day of 20-year-old Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Grounds on a three-month deal.
The loan arranger rode to the rescue once again for Norwich City late last night as manager Glenn Roeder snapped up Wigan's Antoine Sibierski.
The signing of the 34-year-old French striker, until January 18, made him the eighth loan player in the current Canaries' squad
following the capture earlier in the day of 20-year-old Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Grounds on a three-month deal.
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It was a case of déjà vu for Roeder, who snapped up the 6ft 2in Sibierski for Newcastle from Manchester City on a free transfer just a couple of hours before the window closed in August two years ago.
The City boss said he was very happy to be reunited with his former player.
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“I am delighted to have secured the loan signing of Antoine until January,” he said.
“It is the second time I have signed Antoine. The first time was on deadline day in 2006 when, along with Sol Campbell, who joined Portsmouth from Arsenal, he was widely regarded as one of the best Bosmans of the season.
“He has scored lots of goals, many with his head, and will be a great role model for our younger players to work with.”
Sibierski believes he can play at least two more years in top-class football, and his arrival provides Roeder with the height and experience he was looking for in attack after being unable to prise Norwegian striker Steffen Iversen away from Rosenberg.
Iversen was believed to be City's number one target and, in the days approaching the deadline, Leicester's Steve Howard, Bolton's Heidar Helguson and Crystal Palace's James Scowcroft were among those reported as possible targets.
Sibierski was linked with the Canaries back in May, when he admitted he was frustrated by his lack of matches at Wigan last season after Steve Bruce's arrival as manager.
“I started the season strongly but then got some injuries,” he said at the time. “When I came back there had been a change of coach and he started using me as a 'joker', which worked pretty well because I was decisive. Sometimes I would be playing for 30 minutes, sometimes for 10. I will reflect on my future now that the season has ended but feel capable of playing for another two years.”
Sibierski moved to England five years ago when Kevin Keegan took him to Manchester City, where he made 107 appearances, scoring 15 goals. Roeder took him to St James' Park, but he left after just one season, during which he made 39 appearances, scoring eight goals. He joined Wigan and made 33 appearances, with five goals.
The signing of Grounds as defensive cover came after Jason Shackell completed his move from Norwich to Wolves yesterday.
A full-back who can also operate in central defence, Stockton-born Grounds has made eight senior appearances for Middlesbrough but is behind Andrew Taylor in the pecking order at the Riverside Stadium. Manager Gareth Southgate also has the option of playing captain Emanuel Pogatetz in that position.
Grounds' deal runs until November 30, with Boro' having a 24-hour recall after the first 28 days are completed.
But he is highly thought of on Teesside and will not be allowed to leave on a permanent basis after impressing since he made his senior debut at Liverpool in January.
The deadline day activities were carried out in the knowledge that there was always the safety valve of re-entering the loan market again after next Monday when Roeder is still able to bring players in on emergency deals for a maximum of 93 days.
So, with almost a fortnight to go before City's next game, at Plymouth on September 13, there could still be time for more new arrivals.