July 24 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
New recruit Jacob Butterfield cannot wait to tie his bootlaces again after signing a four-year contract with Norwich City.
The 22-year-old Barnsley midfielder completed a move to Carrow Road yesterday, becoming manager Chris Hughton’s second signing in the space of four days.
Butterfield, who said last week he would leave Barnsley only for a club in the top flight, was out of contract at Oakwell, but as he is still under 24, the question of a fee is likely to be decided by a tribunal.
Barnsley were reported to have rejected City’s initial bid for the player as “derisory”.
Butterfield joined Barnsley at the age of 16 and made exactly 100 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals. He was made captain by manager Keith Hill last season and impressed before injuring his knee against Leeds in December, after which he was ruled out for the rest of the season.
But Hughton said he was pleased to get ahead of any rival clubs for his signature.
“There was competition and we’re delighted to have nipped in front of anybody else that wanted to acquire his services,” he said.
“We put a proposal to him and he liked what he saw here and that’s probably as important a factor – this is a club he wanted to be at and where he sees his future.
“We’re looking forward to getting him going. He’s a little bit behind the other lads because he did pick up an injury midway through the season that has hindered his progress a little bit. But the attraction is his age, 22.”
Hughton added: “He is a player who can play in three different positions so he does have that adaptability to his game but he’s a player that likes to get on the ball. He has ability both sides and he played in a good team last season and I think that helped his progress.
“It was a team that wanted to play and wanted to pass the ball and I very much look forward to him taking that progress on.
“I’ve seen Jacob play in a wide area, I’ve seen him play in midfield and I’ve seen him, predominantly last season, playing off the front man. He’s got that type of ability.”
Butterfield, introduced to reporters along with fellow new signing Steven Whittaker, a free agent after leaving Rangers, said he was eager to start training.
“It’s been tough, a lot of time in the gym and a lot of time in the physio room and not playing football, something I’m not used to,” he said.
“I’ve never had an injury like that before. I’m still young, but it’s the first injury I’ve had so I couldn’t really enjoy not playing.
“I definitely am look forward to getting my boots back on and kicking a ball around again and getting back on the pitch and obviously in the Premier League, which is a big step up.
“So it’s a really exciting time in my career.”
Butterfield, who has represented England Under-21s, has played twice at Carrow Road for his former club.
He said: “I’ve played here a couple of times for Barnsley and there was always a fantastic atmosphere.
“The pitch is lovely and we’ll be looking to play some good football here. I’m just delighted to have it sorted and looking forward to getting into it.”