Norwich City ready for big spending Chelsea
The most expensive member of Norwich City’s current squad will be hoping for a Premier League recall tomorrow – but even his transfer fee is dwarfed by the sums paid in assembling Chelsea’s multi-million pound squad.
Striker Steve Morison, who missed the Canaries’ 1-1 draw against Stoke last Sunday because of a groin injury, returned to action when he played nearly half an hour as a substitute in Tuesday night’s 4-0 Carling Cup defeat by MK Dons.
With central defender Leon Barnett available again after serving a one-match ban in midweek, manager Paul Lambert is expected to rely largely on the side that faced Stoke when City visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow (3pm).
But Lambert has a choice to make up front, where Chris Martin performed well in Morison’s absence against the Potters.
Morison’s move from Millwall in the summer is reported to have cost City �2.1m, rising to a potential �2.8m, but it rates as a drop in the ocean when compared with the huge outlay of tomorrow’s opponents.
While the Norwich side taking the field, backed by 3,000 travelling fans, is likely to have cost less than �8m in total, Chelsea are expected to parade at least �160m worth of talent.
New manager Andr� Villas-Boas could give a debut to Spanish forward Juan Mata, a �23.5m capture from Valencia, and has just splashed out more than �20m on two new signings unlikely to make the starting line-up tomorrow – Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu.
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With a reported �16.6million bid for Porto’s Uruguayan star, Alvaro Pereira, also in the pipeline, business is picking up at Chelsea, after a summer of limited transfer activity.
“Criticism was coming from all fronts at a lack of market activity, so you can lay off us now,” said Villas-Boas yesterday.
Florent Malouda is also hoping for a recall after scoring the winner against West Bromwich Albion last week.
Lambert was expected to give a fitness update on his squad at Colney today, while Villas-Boas prepares to face a seemingly unknown quantity in the Canaries.
“I cannot go in depth on Norwich last season, but I know they had a fantastic season,” he said.
• Norwich City
John Ruddy �450,000
Kyle Naughton Loan
Ritchie De Laet Loan
Leon Barnett �750,000
Marc Tierney �150,000
Elliott Bennett �1.5m
Andrew Crofts �300,000
Bradley Johnson Free
Anthony Pilkington �2m
Steve Morison �2.1m
Grant Holt �400,000
(Norwich City fees estimated as most are undisclosed)
Henrique Hilario Free
Jose Bosingwa �16.2m
John Terry Trainee
Ashley Cole �5m
John Obi Mikel �16m
Frank Lampard �11m
Nicolas Anelka �15m
Fernando Torres �50m
Juan Mata �23.5m