Norwich City hot shot Ricky van Wolfswinkel will handle the pressure says Dean Ashton

Norwich City's former club record signing Dean Ashton has backed Dutch hitman Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Norwich City's former club record signing Dean Ashton has backed Dutch hitman Ricky van Wolfswinkel to handle the weight of expectation. Picture: PA - Credit: Press Association Images

Norwich City's former club-record signing Dean Ashton is backing Dutch stiker Ricky van Wolfswinkel to justify his huge price tag.

Ashton's prolific year at Carrow Road following an initial £3m switch from Crewe in 2005 enabled the Canaries to more than double their money when the former England international was offloaded to West Ham for £7.25m. The 29-year-old is convinced van Wolfswinkel will handle the expectation whipped up by his multi-million switch after the Canaries smashed their previous transfer best to entice the 24-year-old to Norfolk.

'Personally, I think any player who says they are not bothered with what a club has spent to buy them or that it doesn't have anything to do with them is probably lying,' said Aston. 'With the money that is in football nowadays it usually means clubs have to pay more and that is something as a player you take on board. I know from my point of view I was really keen to go out there and give my best and show the club they were right to pay that sort of record fee. I wanted to prove what Norwich had paid for me was good business and hopefully Ricky can use that price tag in his favour.'

Ashton views City's reported £8.5m purchase as a major signal of intent.

'You only have to look at his pedigree. You are not involved in the Dutch squad if you are not a good player,' he said. 'I think it was huge for Norwich to stay in the Premier League and even on the final day with the win at Manchester City they probably earned themselves £3m or £4m extra. If Norwich is able to do that year on year they will be able to pay more for players. They have shown a lot of ambition to bring a player like Ricky to the club.

'I think the big difference with me when I signed is that it was in the middle of the season. I literally didn't have too much time to think about it. One week I was playing for Crewe and the next I was in the Premier League with Norwich. The difference with Ricky is that he has had all this time really since the deal was first announced to think about what he is coming into, but he has been scoring goals in Portugal so he will be confident.'

Ashton struck in only his second Norwich game to trigger a freescoring spell that carried Nigel Worthington's squad to the brink of Premier League safety in 2005.

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'Obviously as a striker myself I know he will be looking to score as soon as he can just to get himself off and running. Even if the goals come in pre-season it will give him that extra boost,' he said. 'Unfortunately for me I scored an own goal in my first game, which wasn't quite the impact I was looking for, but I scored in the next one I think and I was away. Regardless of how good Ricky is he will be looking for some help from the other lads who come in.'