Hits and misses in the Norwich City loan market – from Lita and Molby to Bamford and Hartson

Leroy Lita on his way to a hat-trick for City against Wolves Picture: Archant

Leroy Lita on his way to a hat-trick for City against Wolves Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant © 2008

Loan players come and go - a few stay – with varying degrees of success. CHRIS LAKEY looks at some of those who have had temporary stints at Norwich City over the years

Jan Molby, right, and his manager at Carrow Road, Gary Megson Picture: Archant

Jan Molby, right, and his manager at Carrow Road, Gary Megson Picture: Archant - Credit: unknown

It’s fair to say that the signing of loan players is very hit and miss: for every Darren Huckerby there’s a Chris Killen.

Some work, some don’t. For the purposes of this exercise we will concentrate on those who came, stayed a while, and went back to whence they came.

It’s a tough gig for players: they may know they’re being ‘farmed out’ because their parent club doesn’t want them. Younger ones come to learn – but the impetuous nature of youth sometimes doesn’t take kindly to field trips to the middle of Norfolk.

Ryan Bertrand- quality left-back Picture: Archant

Ryan Bertrand- quality left-back Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant Norfolk

HITS


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Jan Molby: Past his best when he came to City in December 1995, playing five games and scoring once. But he was class. Sheer class, as you’d expect from a player who had made more than 200 appearances for Liverpool. He was carrying a bit of timber by the time he arrived at Carrow Road, but was worth his weight in gold.

Leroy Lita: Devastating spell, scoring seven goals in 16 games in the winter of 2008-09, on loan from Reading. Scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Wolves. A bundle of power. Now, 35, he has been playing for Nuneaton Borough this season.

Chris Killen ... never did reach five City appearances Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Killen ... never did reach five City appearances Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Focus Images

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John Kennedy: Classy centre-half brought in from Celtic by Glenn Roeder in 2008. Played 15 games and scored a couple of goals for Norwich during a spell interrupted by one of numerous serious injuries which brought a premature end to his playing career - a very, very good defender.

Ched Evans: Another Roeder signing, for the second half of the 2007-08 season, brought in from Manchester City. Powerful striker who scored an absolute screamer in a 2-1 win at Cardiff.

John Hartson arrives at Norwich City Picture: Archant

John Hartson arrives at Norwich City Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant © 2007

Ryan Bertrand: Quality left-back who was a serious challenge for Adam Drury’s left-back slot. Efficient. Had two loans spells totalling a season and a half in all, starting in January 2007, making 60 appearances.

Fraser Forster: Brought in from Newcastle soon after Paul Lambert took over in 2009 and played a major role in earning City promotion back to the Championship.

Marcus Edwards
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Marcus Edwards Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

David Rocastle: Much loved by Norwich fans. Came here from Chelsea in January 1997 in an attempt to resurrect his career. Impressed City enough to add another month to the loan but his wages were an issue and he went back to Stamford Bridge.

Jordan Rhodes: The big striker scored six goals in nine starts and 27 sub appearances during a loan spell from Sheffield Wednesday in 2018-19. Fans loved him, and he loved being here.

Omar Koroma Picture: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd

Omar Koroma Picture: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Focus Images

MISSES

Patrick Bamford: City were club number five of six on his loan tour of duty from Chelsea. Joined in January 2016, but didn’t really make an impression, with just two starts and no goals. Much in the same mould as...

Harry Kane: Started one game for City in 2012-13 when on loan from Spurs. Famously slid a shot past the post against West Ham when one-on-one with the keeper. Failed to score in 134 minutes wearing the yellow and green. Done alright since though...

Marcus Edwards: A little trickster from Tottenham who couldn’t buckle down to life in the country in the second half of the 2017=18 season. Made one appearance as a sub.

John Hartson: Striker played his last game in pro football when caretaker boss Jim Duffy brought him to City from West Brom in 2007. He made four appearances – a big presence but his legs had gone.

Patrick Boyle: Full-back who came from Everton in September 2006, made three appearance but was out of his depth and, his confidence, drained, went back early with a back injury.

Chris Killen: Four sub appearances was the sum total of the Scottish striker’s contribution. Came on loan from Celtic in January 2009, but well out of his depth.

Alan Gow: On loan from Rangers in February 2009. Had a few skills, but scoring goals wasn’t one of them.

Omar Koroma: Glenn Roeder brought in some good loan players, and some not so good. ‘OJ’ came in from Portsmouth in 2008, but their then boss Harry Redknapp sold his old Hammers pal a dud.

Ibrahim Amadou: Defensive midfielder looked the part, but barely got a look-in. Came on a season-long loan from Sevilla in August 2019: he’d gone by January after eight starts.

Patrick Roberts: Came from Manchester City in July last year, the winger never settled, didn’t start a game and his loan was cut short in January. One you really thought would work.

Ondrej Duda: One of the scapegoats when it all started to go wrong last season. Clearly skilled, but rarely brought out his full repertoire. Shame.

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