Worthy targets Chadwick
CHRIS LAKEY Ex-Manchester United player Luke Chadwick has been targeted as the man to solve Norwich City's right-sided midfield problems. Canaries boss Nigel Worthington has made an inquiry for the 25-year-old Stoke City player as he seeks to fill a position that has becoming something of a millstone around his neck.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Ex-Manchester United player Luke Chadwick has been targeted as the man to solve Norwich City's right-sided midfield problems.
Canaries boss Nigel Worthington has made an inquiry for the 25-year-old Stoke City player as he seeks to fill a position that has becoming something of a millstone around his neck.
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“We have been looking for someone on the wide right area since Mark Rivers left the club,” admitted Worthington. “It has been hard to get a man who is an out-and-out wide right player.
“It's been difficult, but we will continue to look and see what we can do. It is a situation that we can look to try and resolve, but it has been on-going for the last couple of years.
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“Luke Chadwick is a player that we quite like for the position. He can pass and he gets crosses in - we have inquired about him and we are waiting to see what happens.”
Worthington confirmed that should Stoke - who paid £100,000 to West Ham for Chadwick in January - be willing to let the player go he would be looking for a permanent transfer rather than a loan.
Chadwick would be the latest in a long line of players who have tried, and failed, down the right flank for City.
Rivers left Carrow Road in the summer of 2004 and Worthington splashed out an estimated £700,000 for Swedish international Mattias Jonson to do the job in the Premiership - a move that had limited success. Jonson made only 19 starts and departed a year later.
With Jonson gone, Worthington turned to Tottenham's Dean Marney, who was brought in on loan at the start of last season, but saw his spell in Norfolk cut short by an Achilles injury in October after just a dozen starts.
In the last two seasons, Worthington has handed varying lengths of right-flank service to David Bentley, Darren Huckerby, Paul McVeigh, Thomas Helveg, Andy Hughes, Ian Henderson and Jonatan Johansson - and none, for one reason or another, has looked like solving the problem.
Chadwick began his career at Old Trafford but, with the likes of David Beckham in the team, was unable to break through, making just 18 starts - including a number in European competition - in a five-year period which included loan spells at Reading and Burnley before signing for West Ham on a free at the beginning of their 2004-05 promotion season. Having made 22 league starts, Chadwick was loaned to Stoke at the beginning of last season - a move which was made permanent in January.
While Chadwick is on Worthington's shopping list, the name of Leeds striker Rob Hulse is all but wiped off, with Sheffield United favourites to land the Canaries target.
Worthington denied reports that Paul McVeigh was part of a possible deal to land Hulse and that striker Rob Earnshaw was a target for Blackburn boss Mark Hughes, his former Wales team manager.
“It is speculation - that has been no contact between the clubs,” said Worthington. “We are trying to build for the start of the season, not dismantle.”
Yesterday's reports of the interest in Chadwick come on the day that the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (NCISA) released a statement expressing concerns about the lack of transfer activity at Carrow Road.
Roy Blower, chairman of NCISA, said: “At a recent association committee meeting, concerns were expressed that we were being left behind by other clubs as the new season approaches.
“The players are already in pre-season training but we are yet to see any additions to the squad - and new signings are clearly needed if we are to improve on last year's depressing season.
“Holidays and the World Cup don't seem to have prevented other 'big' clubs such as Birmingham or smaller clubs such as Colchester from forays into the transfer market, and the lack of news coming out of Carrow Road is giving many of us cause for concern.”
Worthington declined to comment.