Rigters the right man - Roeder
Michael Bailey Norwich manager Glenn Roeder admitted the chance to sign players of Maceo Rigters' quality does not come along often, after he unveiled the Canaries' latest loan signing.
Norwich manager Glenn Roeder admitted the chance to sign players of Maceo Rigters' quality does not come along often, after he unveiled the Canaries' latest loan signing.
Roeder beat a clutch of other Coca-Cola Championship clubs, including Ipswich Town, to the loan signature of former Dutch under-21 international striker, who has joined on an emergency deal until the end of the season from Blackburn Rovers.
The Norwich manager is confident the 24-year-old forward will ease the Canaries' striking problems as they struggle to shake off their moniker of the Championship's least potent goalscorers.
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“We're delighted to be able to bring him to Norwich,” said Roeder. “We have beaten off quite a few other Championship clubs that wanted to give him the same opportunity but he has chosen us.
“In this division we are a big club, but you don't often get an opportunity to bring in a player of Maceo's pedigree to a club that's in the Championship. He's a powerful lad and technically gifted. He's strong, got pace and, as he showed last year in the [European U21] Championships for Holland, he was the leading goalscorer. So he can score goals, which is something we've been short of.”
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Rigters had turned down a permanent move to Carrow Road from Dutch side NAC Breda in the summer, instead joining Mark Hughes at Blackburn on a four year contract for an undisclosed fee.
But despite winning the golden boot for his four goals at the U21 championships - including a spectacular overhead kick against England - the striker has made only six appearances for the Premier League side and is yet to score.
“I've been on the lookout for the last couple of weeks, trying to find a striker to bring here, including Maceo. A few weeks ago Mark [Hughes] wasn't interested in allowing him to come out and play at another club. He wanted to keep him because he's always in and around the first team squad - he trains with them, travels with them - so very much a part of Mark's plans.
“But over the last few days he has come to realise, maybe with the season running out, it'd be good for Maceo to come out and get some first team football action at a decent club. A he's come to an excellent club where, if you want, our home crowds are bigger than Blackburn's. So he's going to have the sort of atmosphere that I'm sure will bring the best out of him.”
The former Dutch U21 international has been desperate to go out on loan and is expected to make his Norwich debut in their crunch Championship match against Colchester United at Carrow Road on Saturday, with Roeder expecting it to take a few games for the forward to get up to speed.
“I'm looking forward to seeing him train over the next few days,” added Roeder. “The thing is, myself included, all of us must not expect him to be absolutely 100pc match fit, because he obviously isn't. No one would be, not just Maceo but any player who hasn't played a lot of first team football just recently cannot possibly 10pc match fit.
“But he's very young and he's got natural qualities as I said, about his strength and speed. I'm sure he'll be highly motivated for the six weeks he is here. This is a great opportunity for him to impress and score goals.”
The 5ft 10in striker is a graduate of Ajax's youth academy and has previously played for Heerenveen and Dordrecht.
“I want to play football, but it's also important to make a good choice of which club you're going too, and Norwich is a big club with a big background of fans and big history, so I'm happy to be here,” said City's latest loan recruit, who was not about to admit any regrets that he did not join the Canaries in the summer.
“I never regret my choice. I was at Blackburn and experienced something. Now I am here and I can focus on Norwich, try and make some goals and help them in the league.”