Czechs believe City have got a bargain

CHRIS LAKEY Czech import David Strihavka's move from eastern Europe to East Anglia is being regarded as a bargain back home. The 24-year-old has moved to City from Banik Ostrava for a fee thought to be less than £1m - but football fans in the Czech Republic are expecting to reap the dividends as Strihavka matures from raw talent to mature international striker.

CHRIS LAKEY

Czech import David Strihavka's move from eastern Europe to East Anglia is being regarded as a bargain back home.

The 24-year-old has moved to City from Banik Ostrava for a fee thought to be less than £1m - but football fans in the Czech Republic are expecting to reap the dividends as Strihavka matures from raw talent to mature international striker.

“Clearly he has his sights set on playing or the national team,” said sports reporter David Faries, who works for the English language newspaper Prague Post.


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“I think that is the idea, that they have him down to be the main striker, the guy responsible for scoring the goals and that ids the reason he has gone to England, to do his time there.

“I think going up to the top level will help his cause - that's what the fans here want to see.”

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Strihavka was leading league scorer in the Czech top flight last season, but Faries believes City fans should give him time to adjust to a major lifestyle change.

“I think the Championship is a good move for him because at this point in his career and move directly to the Premiership would be too much for him,” he said.

“Give him time to learn the game in England and also the language, because he is clearly not fluent. But never mind that - Norwich City have a steal.

“He is an up-and-coming player who scores a lot of goals. He is quick as well, and while I am not sure that he will be able to contribute straight away, from what I have seen of him he has the talent to do very well.

“Norwich may have come away from this deal very well because David Strihavka has the potential to score goals and if he fulfils that potential, which I think he will, he will be a great signing.

“Banik were a strong team last season and he was a key part of that. He is well known over here, a household name if you like, and Czech fans see him as a star of the future.”

t Norwich City's recruitment team will continue to target eastern Europe for players after wrapping up the signature of Czech striker David Strihavka.

The contractual red tape meant the process dragged on longer than usual - Strihavka actually started training before the final international clearance came through. But the financial benefits more than make up for the added paperwork as far as Canaries boss Peter Grant is concerned.

Grant believes both parties, not just the buying club, benefit, with the lure of English football a major selling point.

“There are a lot of players we are looking at,” he said. “You look up and down because there is no doubt there is a benefit for the boys abroad.

“They want to come and play, they want an opportunity to be playing in England and we feel when you look at players in this division and you see the prices it is near impossible to buy anybody here.

“Even guys who are nowhere near the first team they want £1m for - it is unbelievable. And on top of that their wages as well.

“So, these guys want to play here and we know they have good quality - it is just a matter of getting out there and making sure we get the right ones.

“That is why you have to look at them time and time again. I think that is why David is a big challenge.

“The technical ability in the Czech Republic is very good and I think you can see that in the national team - they are a very good side and that is what he is striving to get into.”

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