Norwich City signing Jonny Howson can’t wait to get involved in Premier League
Norwich City's new signing Jonny Howson is desperate to get fit to test himself against the best in the Premier League.
Howson's move was officially confirmed on Tuesday – subject to the relevant paperwork being approved by the football authorities – with the midfielder agreeing a three-and-a-half year in a reported �2m switch from Leeds United.
The 23-year-old labelled his decision to leave his boyhood club as the biggest of his life, but Howson – who will wear the number 24 shirt –admitted playing in the top flight is too good a chance to turn down.
'The reason is Premier League,' he said. 'I am going to a very good club with good support, but at the same time I know I'm leaving a club I've loved from being such a young boy. That's not going to change. The hardest thing was leaving somewhere I've been from six or seven years of age. It's been a massive part of my life, but this is a great chance for me. This is the sort of chance that doesn't come around that often and it's a chance I feel I have to take while it's there. You can't guarantee anything in football and when you get a chance like this you have to make the most of it.'
Howson's immediate priority now is to complete his rehab on the knee injury that has sidelined him since early December. The former Whites' skipper is setting no deadlines for his comeback.
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'It's coming on all right,' he told Norwich City's official website. 'I have obviously been rehabbing it at Leeds and hopefully I am not too far away, if I keep on progressing nicely. It's a bit of dampener on it coming to a new club when I have an injury but I can't wait to get on that training pitch and get involved. As soon as I found out there was a chance to come here I was very pleased.
'It's every player's dream to come and play in the best league in the world. It was always very tough, close games with Norwich, especially last season, when we drew twice. I knew Bradley Johnson, of course, and he only has positive things to say about the club and the area. He's enjoyed it since he came down here and it sometimes helps a little bit. I know Bradley from my days at Leeds and just to have someone else to speak to and ask different things. It's my first move and it is all new to me, but it makes it that little bit easier when there is someone down here I've spent time with before. I've known Bradley for a few years and I know I can believe what he tells me.'
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Howson's first goal as a professional came in Leeds' 2007 defeat at Carrow Road – and the midfielder hopes for more of the same, once he settles in.
'The first time I played here I was fortunate enough to score my very first professional goal, so I already hold good memories here. Hopefully I've got more to come,' he added.
City boss Paul Lambert feels Howson's capture from Leeds is another clear sign of the club's intent to establish themselves in the Premier League.
'I think he can add goals to our midfield, which I think we need, and he can do that,' he said. 'He'll get better as a player the higher the level he goes up. If he does that and everything goes well, he'll be a great player for us.'