Jackson joins Norwich as McDonald heads to Gillingham

Michael Bailey Norwich City's summer pursuit of Simeon Jackson is officially over after the Canaries confirmed the striker has completed his move from Gillingham.The 23-year-old Canadian international has signed a two-year deal, with City striker Cody McDonald moving in the opposite direction on a season-long loan.

Michael Bailey

Norwich City's summer pursuit of Simeon Jackson is officially over after the Canaries confirmed the striker completed his move from Gillingham - and he is already with his new team-mates at the German training camp.

The 23-year-old Canadian international has put pen to paper on a two-year deal after joining for an undisclosed fee from Priestfield Stadium, following the Gills' relegation to League Two and City's immediate return to the Championship last season.

Norwich also have a further one-year option on keeping the striker beyond his first two seasons at Carrow Road.


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City boss Paul Lambert's seventh signing of the summer arguably completes his Championship squad - minus a bit of late tweaking here and there - and sees the end to a summer long chase that, if all the close-season speculation is to be believed, saw Norwich pip Millwall, Southampton and QPR to the Canadian's signature.

The �600,000 deal, which is thought to get close to �1m depending on appearances and Jackson's goalscoring form, also sees City striker Cody McDonald head in the opposite direction for a year-long loan switch as the Gills look to ease the blow of losing their star striker.

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“I'm delighted to have Simeon at the football club, he'll be a great addition to the squad and will put pressure on the other lads,” said Lambert.

“He's a goalscorer, scored loads of goals for Gillingham the last two seasons and is an international striker.

“We first saw him at Rushden and Diamonds, where his goalscoring record was brilliant and obviously came up against him last season when he was at Gillingham.”

Jackson scored 21 goals in all competitions as he helped Gillingham to play-off promotion from League Two in 2008-09 - including a brace in their 2-1 semi-final victory over Rochdale and the only goal at Wembley as the Gills pipped current Norwich striker Grant Holt and his Shrewsbury side to League One.

Jackson then scored 16 goals in the third tier last season, as well as his first international strike in a 1-0 in Cyprus.

The striker has already joined his new team-mates at City's training camp in Germany, from which they return on Sunday.

"It's a brilliant feeling to finally get the deal done and to be able to come to Germany and get to work with the lads here," he said.

"Everyone has been really welcoming and the work has been hard, but really good."

The 23-year-old explained his reasons for choosing the Canaries, with several other clubs having been rumoured to be interested in the Canadian international: "It was a combination of the attraction of a club like Norwich and the fact that I was really impressed by the manager and his team," said the striker.

"I played against Norwich last season, obviously they've got a great strike force already, so I'm looking forward to some healthy competition," he said.

"Hopefully I can play my part and score some goals and help the team."

As for McDonald, Lambert is hoping a year of first team football will benefit the striker having only just completed his first full season as a professional after joining from non-league Dartford in Febraury 2009.

“Cody needs games,” Lambert told the club's website. “He's still not long out of non-league so his game is still developing. He's been great for the squad and always worked hard when he's come off the bench, and scored one or two vital goals as well.

“This move will get him more competitive games under his belt, which is important for him and us.”

McDonald, 24, scored on his first professional appearance in the 2-0 over Cardiff at Carrow Road in the Championship, as well as hitting the target against Walsall and Hartlepool during last season's charge to the League One title.

It all means the Canaries will have a striker line-up of skipper Holt, Chris Martin, Jackson and Oli Johnson as they bid to make a success of their second tier return.

t FACTFILE

Name: Simeon Jackson

Age: 23

Born: March 28, 1987 in Kingston, Jamaica

Height: 5ft 8in

Weight: 11st 5lbs

Career totals:

Club by club: Aug 2004 - Rushden and Diamonds (94 appearances, 43 goals), Jan 2008 - Gillingham (95 apps, 37 goals)

International honours: Canada Under-21 (7 apps, 0 goals), Canada (10 apps, 1 goal)

Honours: Canadian international player of the year 2009, League Two play-off winner 2009

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