Roeder looks for a Lita bit of help

Leroy Lita is preparing for his Norwich City debut after joining the club's growing band of loan strikers - and has been backed to provide a goalscoring repeat of his last outing at Carrow Road.

Leroy Lita is preparing for his Norwich City debut after joining the club's growing band of loan strikers - and has been backed to provide a goalscoring repeat of his last outing at Carrow Road.

The Canaries have signed Reading's Lita in a one-month deal, which covers the period up to and including the game at Burnley on Saturday, November 1.

News of his arrival coincided with winger Luke Chadwick's departure to League One side MK Dons on a three-month loan.

Lita, 23, last appeared at Norwich in June 2007 when he scored the final goal in England Under-21s' 5-0 friendly win over Slovakia. He scored six times in nine under-21 appearances. Manager Glenn Roeder said he was delighted to secure the services of the former Chelsea and Bristol City player, the fourth striker he has signed on loan this season after the arrival of Arturo Lupoli, Omar Koroma and Antoine Sibierski.


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“His goalscoring record is excellent and his record for the under-21s is terrific,” said Roeder. “He scored last year at Carrow Road when England won 5-0 so he'll know what the stadium and the pitch is all about. He's really looking forward to it. You can just tell that.

“We've been after him probably for about a month and we've worked incredibly hard to make it happen and we have to thank Steve Coppell and Nicky Hammond, the director of football, who's right at the forefront of what goes on at Reading, for giving us the opportunity to bring Leroy to the club. I think he's very much a recognised goalscorer and I hope he hits the ground running.

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“Lee Clark saw him play at Stoke in the Carling Cup and he played the whole game right through to penalties, so he's had some match practice. He's not coming to us completely rusty and will go straight into the squad for Saturday's game.

“And what I should say is he's here to play. I'm hoping his pace and his eye for a goal will help us out because that is, in my view, all we are missing.”

The 5ft 7in Lita slipped down the Royals' pecking order last season and moved on loan to Championship side Charlton in March, scoring three times in eight league appearances.

Reading manager Coppell said: “With a lot of strikers here competing for two places, this loan move is the best thing for Leroy at the moment. Reserve team football is not regular or a good enough standard, and he wants to play every week so it's a great opportunity for him to do that at a very competitive level and hopefully score some goals.”

Lita was set to train at Colney today, while Chadwick headed for MK Dons in what Roeder admitted was “potentially” a permanent deal.

The 27-year-old former Manchester United, West Ham and Stoke winger has scored twice in 18 games in nearly two years at Norwich, but has been hampered by knee and shoulder injuries and has not made a first-team appearance this season.

Said Roeder: “MK Dons have been trying to take him for the past two or three weeks but there has been a lot of negotiation between the two clubs before we came to an acceptable agreement.”

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