Everton’s Vaughan is Norwich City’s first new face of summer
Norwich City's new signing James Vaughan yesterday described joining the Premier League new boys as a 'great opportunity'.
The 22-year-old striker will become Paul Lambert's first close season capture – subject to club officials completing the relevant paperwork – after moving from boyhood club Everton for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in excess of �1.5m.
Vaughan passed a 'stringent' medical and agreed personal terms on a three-year deal at Carrow Road following a successful loan spell at Championship rivals Crystal Palace last season.
The former England U21 starlet admitted it was a wrench to leave the Toffees, but is confident he can help City's Premier League mission.
'I'm so happy to have signed for Norwich,' he said. 'It's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to it.
'I went out to Palace last year to play some games and do the best that I could for them. I really enjoyed my time there. Of course it was hard to leave Everton. I would like to thank everyone at Everton for all they have done for me over the years. I will always love the club and the people there.
'I've been there since I was six but now it was time for me to move on and try and get some games elsewhere and I'm pleased that I've signed for Norwich. The club is going in the right direction and hopefully I can join and keep that going in the Premier League.'
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Lambert believes Vaughan's signing perfectly illustrates his summer makeover plans ahead of Norwich's top flight bow.
'He's someone who fits in with the group in the sense that he's hungry to do well and has great desire,' said the Scot, who reiterated earlier this week he was only in the market for ambitious recruits after pouring cold water on a potentially audacious move for Germany's veteran hitman Miroslav Klose.
'He's already shown great potential as a young player with Everton and when I have seen him playing for them and for Crystal Palace I have always thought he was a threat in and around the box. I think James will be fantastic for us and provide extra competition for places, which is always good to have.'
Vaughan shot to prominence, ironically against Palace, when he scored as a 16-year-old on his senior Everton debut in a 4-0 win at Goodison back in April 2005 to become the Premier League's youngest ever goalscorer.
A knee ligament injury suffered on England U18 duty the following season stunted his club progress and Vaughan has been restricted to just eight league starts for the Toffees. The Birmingham-born frontman had loan spells at Derby and Leicester prior to an extended spell at Palace last season where he scored nine goals in 30 appearances.
'I'm really looking forward to it,' Vaughan told the club's official site. 'I'm really happy to get it done so early in the summer. I'm already looking forward to getting back into training. That's what I wanted all along, to get it done and make sure I got a full pre-season. I can look forward to the season ahead now.
'I was very impressed with Norwich last season and obviously getting promoted two seasons in a row isn't easy and a lot of credit has to go to the team for doing that.'
Various media sources also linked the Canaries yesterday with Millwall's bustling Welsh international striker Steve Morison.
The Lions have rejected a transfer request from the 27-year-old after a reported fresh approach from the Canaries following initial interest back in January.
Morison – on duty for Wales last night in the Carling Nations Cup against Northern Ireland – agreed a new Millwall deal in February to remain at the club until 2013 following intense speculation over his future during the New Year transfer window.
A statement from the Lions read: 'Millwall can confirm the club has received a written transfer request from Steve Morison. This request has been rejected. There has been regular speculation surrounding Steve's future but he was rewarded with a new contract in February.'
• JAMES VAUGHAN FACTFILE
• Age: 22
• Born: Birmingham, July 14, 1988
• Height: 5ft 9in
• Weight: 12st 9lb
• Debut: Everton 4, Crystal Palace 0, April 10, 2005. By scoring he became the Premier League's youngest ever goalscorer.
• Career: July 2004-May 2011, Everton: 11 starts (plus 49 as substitute) 9 goals; September-October 2009: Derby County, loan: 2 (0) 0; March-June 2010: Leicester City, loan: 2 (6) 1; September-December 2010, January-May 2011, Crystal Palace, two loan spells, 28 (2) 9.
• Total: 43 (57) 19.
• Internationals: England Under-17s 6 (2); Under-19s 3 (3); England Under-21s 4 (0).