Brown tipped to become Canary hitman
CHRIS LAKEY New signing Chris Brown is being tipped to add his name to the long list of top-quality hitmen who have played for the Canaries over the years.
New signing Chris Brown is being tipped to add his name to the long list of top-quality hitmen who have played for the Canaries over the years.
The £325,000 capture from Sunderland has some tough acts to follow, with crowd favourites like Iwan Roberts and Chris Sutton having trodden a well-worn path at Carrow Road.
But Grant insists that the 22-year-old can have the rough edges polished off, just as Roberts did, and prove to be a bargain buy.
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“Norwich have had fantastic strikers throughout the years, and long may that continue,” said Grant.
“I am sure he will be another one the fans will come to know. They love determination, drive and a great attitude and he has all these things in abundance.
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“Now we have to add to that quality, make him a more proven goalscorer because it is alright setting up other people, but we have to make him more ruthless in the box as well and make sure he gets more goals as well.”
Grant has trailed Brown for the past two years and when he took the managerial job at Norwich last October he made the striker his first target. The calls that went in then laid the foundations for this week's move from Wearside - at what Grant claims is a knockdown price.
Norwich's hand was strengthened by a combination of factors, including Roy Keane's decision to splash out £2.2m on Anthony Stokes and the fact that Brown was out of contract in the summer. A fee was always going to be due because of Brown's age - but Grant believes he has got away lightly.
“Obviously Sunderland didn't want to let him go for that, I think it was a lot higher, more than double what they were asking for,” he said. “I have no doubt he will be value for money and he will be a major asset. I think we have very good value - but time will tell.
“I could understand why Sunderland were loathe because there are not many other players like him. Obviously they had spent a few bob elsewhere in the team, that's why I was digging my heels in because I am not going to pay for someone else they're bringing in.”
Brown had other choices, but within 48 hours of Sunderland accepting Norwich's offer, the deal was concluded.
“We brought him down Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon it was done,” Grant added. “Sunderland were great to deal with, everybody has seen the light and we got it together very quickly.
“I didn't think I had a chance to get him, especially this time. I thought he was one for the future but to have him a couple of months later I am delighted.”
Grant is hoping Brown can be knocked into shape with some help from veteran striker Dion Dublin - an opportunity the new boy was looking forward to.
“With someone like Dion around the place it is only going to be good for me and for the team,” said Brown. “Little things like getting into different positions, when to receive the ball and movement in the box - it is only going to be good for me.
“It is a thing I took into consideration before I came to the club because I think there is probably no one better to learn from. He has played at the top level and I think it will be a good thing for me train with him every day, even in the gym, and see just how he lives his life.”
Brown said the decision to uproot and leave a club he joined as a youngster was easy.
“Once I knew Norwich were interested I came down on Wednesday, liked everything I saw and got fixed up no problem,” he said.
“I knew Carl (Robinson) from Sunderland so it is good to know somebody. He was very complimentary about the pace and the club in general.
“It was very easy - as soon as I came down, met the manger, saw the facilities and stuff I just felt at home and I think I can settle in and it will make me a better player and also, hopefully, a stronger person.”
Grant said he was unconcerned that Brown had been the subject of lurid tabloid headlines last month.
“I am not concerned - it has just come out and it all happened well over a year ago,” he said.
Grant has now signed two players during the transfer window - Brown and Luke Chadwick - but there is more work to be done.
“I still have a few I want to get in,” said Grant, who is also likely to use the loan option. “That will stand us in good stead for the push right through to the end of the season. Then come to the end of the season we can hopefully add to it.”