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.
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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