Business as usual for Norwich City strikers despite news of Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s signing
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The capture of club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel should not have an unsettling effect on Norwich City's existing strikers as they prepare for the final eight matches of the Premier League season, according to manager Chris Hughton.
Van Wolfswinkel arrives at Carrow Road in July on a four-year contract after his move from Sporting Lisbon for a reported £8.5m, but it is down to the Canaries' current strike force to deliver the goals that will nudge them over the safety line and secure another season in the top flight.
Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson, Luciano Becchio and Kei Kamara have scored just seven league goals between them this season, but as City prepare for tomorrow's trip to third-from-bottom Wigan Athletic (3pm), Hughton insisted they should not feel threatened by the highly-rated Dutchman appearing on the horizon.
'As regards the forwards we have, it's business as normal,' he said. 'There should be – and there has always been – that competition.
'We've gone through the season generally with four forwards and Wes (Hoolahan), who has played very much off the front for a lot of the season, so that competition has always been there.
'You wouldn't want that any different. I think the fact that somebody will come in in the summer shouldn't really affect that.'
Hughton said Van Wolfswinkel's arrival did not inevitably mean other strikers heading for the exit, though Jackson and Chris Martin are out of contract in the summer.
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He said: 'No, he is very much an addition. I think with every club at this stage of the season it is a difficult time. There is no doubt what is most important is these next eight games but of course every club will have to plan.
'The scouting network never ends, it goes on behind the scenes all year round. Nothing is more important than the next eight games.'
Nevertheless, the City boss could not conceal his delight at his new recruit.
'It is a really exciting period for us and I have to thank the club for their support and their ambition on this one,' he said.
'He fits the profile very well in a forward area where we wanted to bring someone in. His goal record is good and with his age there is still that development in him. We all know how difficult it is to bring the right player and we know his goals will help us.'