Gunn hits double figures with summer signings
Jonathan Redhead Norwich City manager Bryan Gun was revelling in the numbers game yesterday morning, with a trio of new signings. Having already made six permanent signings since the disastrous end to last season, the Canaries boss added numbers seven and eight to the ranks with Simon Whaley and Rhoys Wiggins both agreeing two-year deals from Preston North End and Crystal Palace respectively.
Norwich City manager Bryan Gun was revelling in the numbers game yesterday morning, with a trio of new signings.
Having already made six permanent signings since the disastrous end to last season, the Canaries boss added numbers seven and eight to the ranks with Simon Whaley and Rhoys Wiggins both agreeing two-year deals from Preston North End and Crystal Palace respectively.
And the cherry on the cake at Colney was the arrival on goalkeeper Ben Alnwick on loan from Tottenham Hotspur for three months, to add to the growing list of new faces around the place, which was later increased with the arrival of striker Grant Holt yesterday afternoon.
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They will join Matthew Gill, Owain Tudur Jones, Michael Theoklitos, Michael Nelson, Paul McVeigh and Stephen Hughes in battling for a place in the first team when the season proper kicks off with the League One clash against Colchester United at Carrow Road on August 8 - just a fortnight away.
“They've been around us for a few days,” Gunn said of Whaley, Wiggins and Alnwick.
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“In Simon's case a trip to Scotland and a visit, Rhoys we met up with and had a chat and Ben was a bit quickfire from Wednesday night.”
Whaley, 24, is believed to have cost City around �150,000 after three and a half years at Deepdale.
And Gunn has told the pacy winger he can become a hero to the City faithful if he performs at Carrow Road.
“If you look at Simon's past, the pace is obviously one of the big assets you look at, the ability to go past players either side and get crosses into dangerous areas and offer a goal threat as well,” he said.
“That's why we signed him we don't want him to change in any way we want him to use his assets in the best way for Norwich City.”
Whaley said he had no problems joining a club relegated from the Championship.
“I don't see it as stepping down a division,” he said. “Norwich are a massive outfit and I still see them as a Championship side. Obviously we want promotion this season and it's a chance for me to play regular first team football.
Meanwhile, Wiggins impressed Gunn while playing for Wales U21 against their English counterparts and the way he contained Aston Villa star James Milner.
The left-back had fallen out of favour with Eagles boss Neil Warnock and Gunn was quick to make his move, although the full-back is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season after surgery following an anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2006, but Gunn says he will hopefully ready for action in two to three weeks.
“I've been waiting quite a while to get out of Crystal Palace now,” Wiggins said. “I was classed as first team potential for quite a while, but I don't think I would have grasped that at Palace for one reason or another.”
There are no injury problems for Alnwick who will make his debut today, for at least a half, against Manchester United.
The former Sunderland starlet has struggled for first team action since signing for Tottenham Hotspur for nearly �1m two years ago, but has enjoyed loan spells at Leicester City and Carlisle United.
“His youthfulness is not to be looked at really, because he's been around for a long time,” said Gunn. “He's certainly not scared to get involved, he'll dominate his box.
“My son's excited, Angus, because he rates Ben very highly, so between the two of us we think we've got an excellent young goalkeeper who's going to battle for the spot.”
Alnwick admitted he is just happy for the chance for some first team action.
“I just need the chance to get out whether it's playing or even fighting for a place, because I'm number three at Tottenham,” he said. “When I heard I had a chance to come to Norwich I jumped at it.”
See Monday's Yellow & Green'un for a full interview with Rhoys Wiggins.