Ricky van Wolfswinkel already eager to help Norwich City progress

Ricky van Wolfswinkel salutes one of his Sporting goals.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel salutes one of his Sporting goals. - Credit: Archant

New signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel has spoken of his desire to help Norwich City become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old Dutch striker will move from Sporting Lisbon on July 1 after agreeing a four-year contract with the Canaries, as confirmed late on Friday.

The fee has not been disclosed, though reports in Portugal claim City will pay a club record £8.5m for his services. And Van Wolfswinkel is determined his new club will become more than mere survivors among English football's elite.

'First of all, this is a club with great ambitions to become the team that they have been in the past in the top flight,' he said.

'The idea that I can be a part of that progress at the club, working with such great people, was enough for me to make what in the end was an easy decision.


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'Joining Norwich City is the perfect next step in my career. It's a realistic club with great people both at the club and in the city.

'I think this is the club for me and I hope to help them in every way I can. They have lots of ambition and I'll be delighted to be a part of that.'

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City have not threatened the upper reaches of the Premier League for two decades, since finishing third in 1993 and qualifying for Europe, where their first opponents were one of Van Wolfswinkel's former clubs, Vitesse Arnhem.

Chris Hughton's Canaries are currently 12th in the table – the same as their final position last season – and Van Wolfswinkel believes they can make further progress.

He said: 'Next year will hopefully be a year to improve. We want to do even better than the team has done this year.

'We need to work extra hard to make that happen, and if we do that, then a team and a club like Norwich can make great things happen.

'I have spoken with the coach and he is a manager that knows how to form a team in order to let them play the best that they can.

'Also he is a coach that can help me take my qualities to the next level. He gave me the last push to sign for Norwich City.' Van Wolfswinkel told City's official website he was thrilled at the prospect of playing in England and fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

He said: 'It's really an exciting time. I'm happy to be joining Norwich City and I'm looking forward to playing for the club. It will also be great to play in a stadium where there is such great support from the fans.

'It has always been a dream of mine to play in England and in the Premier League and I'm even more excited that I can hopefully fulfil that dream at such a great club like Norwich City. This is the sort of club I need at this moment in my career.

'Other Dutch footballers that play in the Premier League say it's the best competition in the world. They have only great things to say about it.'

The Holland international, meanwhile, wants to go out in style at Sporting Lisbon after scoring 39 goals in less than two seasons since a £6m move from FC Utrecht.

He said: 'It's always difficult to leave a club and a place that you like. Sporting and their fans helped me improve and I have had a great time there.

'But the prospect of playing for Norwich City and playing in the Premier League was enough for me to make the move away. I would like to thank the fans for all their support.

'I will, of course, leave at the end of the season, but I will do everything to help Sporting up to the last day of my contract. I like the club and love the people in and around it.'

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