Strihavka has a lot to offer Canaries
DAVID CUFFLEY And now for something completely different. As Czech striker David Strihavka finally completed his move from Banik Ostrava to Norwich City, manager Peter Grant chose the introductory words of Monty Python's Flying Circus to describe his sixth acquisition of a very busy summer on the transfer market.
And now for something completely different.
As Czech striker David Strihavka finally completed his move from Banik Ostrava to Norwich City, manager Peter Grant chose the introductory words of Monty Python's Flying Circus to describe his sixth acquisition of a very busy summer on the transfer market.
The 24-year-old is unlikely to run out at Carrow Road to a rousing rendition of the Liberty Bell, but Grant plainly believes he has captured a special talent in last season's leading scorer in the Czech premier league.
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He said: “We thought with his quality we weren't going to be able to get him because we thought there were a few Premiership clubs looking at him and also top clubs in the Czech Republic were wanting him, and I can understand why.
“We thought we'd have a fight on our hands. A lot of people know about David. I know for a fact Red Star Belgrade and Olympiakos wanted him as well.
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“We know there was another Championship team who came in at the last moment and tried to get him, who's just come into the Championship. Fortunately enough we were further down the line in the talks and we got an opportunity to get him.
“I've no doubt he can bring us something completely different.”
Indeed, so different that Grant made comparison with the giant Jan Koller, the Czech Republic's all-time leading goalscorer with 48 goals in 75 appearances.
Koller has starred with Anderlecht, Borussia Dortmund and Monaco and, at 6ft 7in, is four or five inches taller than his young compatriot, who nevertheless has international ambitions of his own.
Strihavka has represented his country at under-16 and under-19 level and played Champions League football for his former club, Sparta Prague.
Said Grant: “He has desires to play in the Czech Republic national team. You talk about Koller who plays for the Czechs and I would say he's an ideal replacement because of his size and his power. That's what he strives to do.
“That was one of the reasons he came here because of his ambition to play for his country. He has a hunger to try to be successful quickly and prove he can do it in England as well as the Czech Republic. His ratio of goals to games is very, very good and at the prices we're getting now, people could be looking back and saying it's a good piece of business.”
Just how good will be hard for supporters to determine because Strihavka, like David Marshall and Jamie Cureton last week, has arrived for an “undisclosed fee”.
He has signed a four-year contract and is clearly pleased to have joined his new team-mates.
“Yes, of course. It's a nice city, a nice training centre and I will enjoy starting the season,” said Strihavka.
Said Grant: “We're very pleased we got David over. We showed him the training ground, we showed him the stadium, we tried to explain how many people come to the stadium. He seemed to know a little bit about it. I think David had taken it upon himself to check us out. He seemed excited when he came over and he couldn't get here quickly enough.
“I think the players can see, from the short period of time he trained this morning, the qualities he has.
“He's technically very good, he's quick and he likes scoring goals.
“David could play with Dion Dublin, he could play with Jamie Cureton, he could play with Chris Brown, he could play with Darren Huckerby.”