African ace in City trial

Norwich boss Peter Grant has targeted Cameron World Cup star Lucien Mettomo to solve his mounting defensive injury crisis. The 30-year-old former Man City central defender is on trial at Carrow Road with a view to a permanent deal after being released by Swiss Super Liga outfit FC Lucerne.

Norwich boss Peter Grant has targeted Cameron World Cup star Lucien Mettomo to solve his mounting defensive injury crisis.

The 30-year-old former Man City central defender is on trial at Carrow Road with a view to a permanent deal after being released by Swiss Super Liga outfit FC Lucerne.

“We'll assess the situation and make a decision on him over the course of the next few days,” said Grant. “Lucien is out of contract and we are taking the opportunity to have a look at him. He comes with great credentials having played at the very highest level, but one thing he is short of is match fitness.”

Grant is desperate for defensive reinforcements after skipper Jason Shackell was ruled out for a minimum of two weeks with ankle ligament damage suffered in the recent Carling Cup win at Rochdale.


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The Norwich chief went into the international break with only two fit senior recognised centre halves on the books in Gary Doherty and versatile veteran Dion Dublin. Grant had previously been linked with a possible loan deal for Man United youngster Ryan Shawcross before the teenager joined City's Championship rivals Stoke last month.

Mettomo reportedly held talks with City's club liaison officer Bryan Gunn before joining his new team mates at Colney. The Cameroon international is available to join the club as a free agent outside of the transfer window which closed last week as part of the 'emergency' loan market.

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Mettomo started his career at St Etienne where he helped establish the club in the French top flight during 81 appearances in a three year stint. A serious knee injury wrecked his chance of a move to Blackburn in 2000 before he made a £1.5m switch to north-west rivals Man City in September 2001. Then Maine Road boss Kevin Keegan likened him to French international tough nut Basile Boli upon his City arrival.

“He's got two very good feet and good pace,” said Keegan. “He can play in a three or a straight back four and he can play a central midfield holding role as well. He's another one of these players who has not just got one position, you can move him around.”

The defender made 30 appearances in a two-year City spell. Mettomo was transferred to German Bundesliga club Kaiserslautern prior to his recent career in Switzerland.

Mettomo has also chalked up 29 caps for the Indomitable Lions. The powerhouse defender was a key member of the squad which reached the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea alongside Barcelona hitman Samuel Eto'o and Newcastle full back Geremi.

The Douala-born player was part of the Cameroon squad which lost the 2003 Confederations Cup final to France in a tournament marred by the sudden death of team mate Marc-Vivien Foe in the semi-final win over Colombia.

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