Ched will be a wanted man - Iwan
Paddy Davitt Norwich legend Iwan Roberts insists the Canaries face a summer dogfight to try and tempt Welsh hot property Ched Evans back to Carrow Road. The teenage hitman will return to Man City after his impressive loan spell ends this weekend.
Norwich legend Iwan Roberts insists the Canaries face a summer dogfight to try and tempt Welsh hot property Ched Evans back to Carrow Road.
The teenage hitman will return to Man City after his impressive loan spell ends this weekend. Evans' fourth goal in his last four matches set Glenn Roeder's side on their way to a priceless league win over QPR - the Welshman's tenth strike of his extended loan stint.
Evans refused to rule out a swift Norfolk reunion after helping City secure their Championship status but Roberts warns one of the Principality's brightest talents will be head hunted.
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Mounting uncertainty over Eastlands boss Sven-Goran Eriksson's future could scupper the 19-year-old chances of forcing his way into the first team picture at his parent club next season.
“I would think he is like a lot of the young boys Glenn brought in - they want to push to get in the first team at their Premiership club,” said Roberts. “I would hope that he doesn't just go back to, maybe not so much rot in their reserves, but stay at that level. I'm sure a host of Championship clubs would love to take him on loan and have a Ched Evans in their team. I only look as far as Cardiff. It would be great to have a Welsh boy playing for a Welsh club. I can remember when we brought the likes of Paul Peschisolido and David Healy in during my time and they didn't really hit the heights. It's always a gamble with loan players but in his case it was a risk that paid dividends.”
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Welsh media pundit Roberts expects the St Asaph-born striker to make his senior international debut in the forthcoming friendly double header against Iceland and Holland.
“I think he'll be involved because he is a goalscorer,” said Roberts. “He would've been called into the senior squad a long, long time ago if it wasn't for the fact he was doing so well for the Welsh U21s in the Euros. To be fair I've still to see him play live but the bits and pieces I have seen and the few people I've spoken to at the club all say he is a smashing lad to have around the place. The thing that impresses me is he scores all types of goals. There's been some crackers this season.”
Evans' opener against Rangers helped City avoid a nervy last day trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
“Now it's one of those they can hopefully enjoy,” said Roberts. “Can you imagine having to go to Sheff Weds needing a point? It was something I had to go through in my early Norwich career when we were still involved with three or four games to go. I remember beating Tranmere 1-0 to ensure safety and you can't describe the feeling. It's just massive relief to get those points on the board.
“People shouldn't forget the situation when Glenn came in. The club were bottom with eight points. I know there was talk of the play offs when they went so long unbeaten but I always felt it was a case of getting to 50 points and then re-assessing. If they had go there a bit quicker then maybe they could've made a push but Norwich lost games at home they will think they should've won. Then you start to get dragged back into the relegation situation and the anxiety and nerves set in.”
Roberts backs Roeder to get his summer revolution right.
“It looks like there's going to be a massive clearout,” he said. “I was only there four years ago but could probably count on one hand the players still at the club - so it's been a major upheaval with plenty of comings and goings. With Dion Dublin retiring and all the speculation over whether Hucks' will get another deal that could be two of the biggest characters in the dressing room leaving, along with the lads going back to their Premiership clubs.
“Glenn knew all that a long time ago and the planning will have started. He will have in mind what he needs to bring in certain players that he has had his eye on for six months and what it might cost the club. That would've been the case even when they were fighting relegation - he would've been planning for life in the Championship.”