To borrow never dies
DAVID CUFFLEY Nigel Worthington is happy to carry on playing the loan arranger if he thinks it can bolster Norwich City's promotion chances. The City boss took no fewer than eight players on loan last season, including one season-long signing in Tottenham winger Dean Marney - whose spell at Carrow Road was cut short by injury after 15 appearances - and two more who became permanent signings in midfielders Carl Robinson and Dickson Etuhu.
Nigel Worthington is happy to carry on playing the loan arranger if he thinks it can bolster Norwich City's promotion chances.
The City boss took no fewer than eight players on loan last season, including one season-long signing in Tottenham winger Dean Marney - whose spell at Carrow Road was cut short by injury after 15 appearances - and two more who became permanent signings in midfielders Carl Robinson and Dickson Etuhu.
And Worthington, who also borrowed David Bentley from Arsenal for the Canaries' entire Premiership campaign in 2004-05, today admitted he would look at the loan option again if he felt the right player was available.
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He said: “You can never rule anything out - we have to look at short-term loans, long-term loans and permanent transfers.”
The talented Bentley had a hit-and-miss year with City, at one stage dropped and then sidelined for three months by injury, but also showing glimpses of the form that made him a success at Blackburn last season.
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And Worthington, busily drawing up his wish list for summer squad strengthening, said he was satisfied that a player on a season's loan could be just as committed as a permanent signing.
“It's something that can be very beneficial for both parties, so I would consider that option again,” he said.
“At the moment there is nothing concrete to report. It's a time when everyone seems to be having a break, but there is still a lot of work going on.”
He added: “We have identified a number of players who would strengthen our squad and it's a case of putting in the phone calls and seeing what the situation is.
“It's a question of adding everything up - the transfer fees, the salaries, whether clubs are prepared to let certain people go out on loan, and such like - and then seeing if something can be sorted out. These things take time and it's a case of everyone being patient.”
One man Worthington has confirmed his interest in West Ham's Clive Clarke.
The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland international left-back has failed to make an impact for the Hammers since his £275,000 switch from Stoke last year, with injuries and the good form of others restricting him to just three appearances.
Worthington revealed yesterday that he had already contacted Hammers boss Alan Pardew about the versatile Dubliner.
“Clive Clarke is a player we like,” said the City boss, looking for a left-sided player after the exits of Jim Brennan and Simon Charlton.
“We are looking for extra numbers in certain areas and he is someone who can play at left-back and can also do a good job on the left-hand side of midfield.
“We have made an inquiry about him but that is as far as it has gone at the moment. We'll just have to be patient and see what happens on that one.”