Gary Hooper proving ‘vital’ to Sheffield Wednesday following Norwich City disappointment

Gary Hooper is impressing for Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

Gary Hooper is impressing for Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Spurned Norwich City striker Gary Hooper is proving 'vital' to Sheffield Wednesday's hopes of Championship success.

That is according to his Owls team-mate Liam Palmer, adding to the news that Hooper has been nominated for the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for the Championship for October.

The 28-year-old scored twice in five games, taking his tally for the season to four, but Palmer said Hooper's contribution has been about more than just goals.

'Last season he was vital to our upturn in form, his goals too,' said the Wednesday full-back. 'This season, he has been great for us, dropping in and being that first line of defence.

'It doesn't always get noticed, and it's not what a striker particular wants to be doing, chasing the defensive midfielder from the other team, but it's vital to how we set-up.

'Without that, it would make it a lot more difficult for us.'

The description may not tally with some of the performances which Hooper put in for the Canaries, scoring 20 goals in 70 games following his £5m move from Celtic in 2013.

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He was allowed to join Wednesday on loan by Alex Neil early last season and, after an initial six goals in 13 games, signed permanently in a deal worth around £3m in January.

Asked if Hooper was one of the best forwards in the division, when speaking to the Sheffield Star, Palmer replied: '100 per cent. His goal-scoring record over the years, wherever he has been, proves that. In training, give him half a yard and it's going inside the net. He is deadly inside the box.'

Hooper is nominated alongside Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle, Massimo Luongo of QPR, Preston's Paul Gallagher, Sam Baldock of Brighton and Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham.

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