Sibierski linked with City
Michael Bailey Norwich City have today been linked with a raid for Wigan's Antoine Sibierski. The man Glenn Roeder once labelled as one of the best free transfers in the Premier League looks set to become available for the City boss to gobble up again.
Norwich City have today been linked with a raid for Wigan's Antoine Sibierski.
The man Glenn Roeder once labelled as one of the best free transfers in the Premier League looks set to become available for the City boss to gobble up again.
Frenchman Sibierski was used sparingly during the Latics' scrappy season and is considering his future after becoming frustrated by the lack of time on the pitch.
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Roeder shelled out £2m to take the 6ft 2in forward to Newcastle United from Manchester City in August 2006 during his time as Magpies boss, and Sibierski repaid the favour by bagging four goals in nine Uefa Cup appearances as well as three goals in 14 Premier League starts.
But with Roeder leaving Newcastle just before the end of that season, the 33-year-old soon followed to join the Latics on a free transfer - and it was a move Roeder praised as one of the best in English football that season.
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Roeder, talking about his time at Newcastle, praised Sibierski in his column in the Evening News last season: “I inherited someone else's squad and made only three major signings. Obafemi Martins - that was money well spent - and Damien Duff, who cost £5m which many people believe was a bargain at the time, but he was one of 13 players who had major operations.
“Antoine Sibierski was the other and along with Sol Campbell, he was one of the two best free transfers of last season.”
Having been a big enough fan of the player to spend a sizeable transfer fee during his time in the North East, Roeder is sure to fancy bringing the Frenchman, who can play in midfield as well as further forward, to Carrow Road.
One stumbling block could be getting close enough to the player's current wages at Wigan, however the chance to play regular first team football with a coach he has played well for in the past could prove too tempting to resist for Sibierski.
Sibierski has expressed a desire keep playing for at least two more years and a number clubs, including some of City's Coca-Cola Championship rivals, are said to be in the hunt after he failed to push ahead of Emile Heskey, Marcus Bent and Marlon King in Steve Bruce's attack.
“I started the season strongly but then got some injuries,” Sibierski told the Manchester Evening News. “When I came back there had been a change of coach and he started using me as a 'joker', which worked pretty well because I was decisive.
“Sometimes I would be playing for 30 minutes, sometimes for 10. I will reflect on my future now that the season has ended but feel capable of playing for another two years.
“The coach wants to keep me, I'll think about it and I will also listen to my agent.”
With the Canaries down to only two recognised strikers and with a large Dion Dublin-sized hole to fill, a signing like Sibierski would certainly raise a few eyebrows and give City fans some hope for next season.