Ricky van Wolfswinkel and the Norwich City goals gap
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ricky van Wolfswinkel admitted he has work to do for Sporting Lisbon before he can think about his summer move to Norwich City – but Canaries fans may already be wishing for the Dutchman's goalscoring prowess.
The 24-year-old striker, who agreed an £8.5m move from Portugal last month, scored an impressive hat-trick at Braga on Monday night.
That was little more than 48 hours after the shot-shy Canaries went down to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Wigan.
Norwich have scored just five Premier League goals this year – while Van Wolfswinkel's Easter hat-trick took his 2013 Primeira Liga tally to six.
Whatever the comparison, City fans will have to wait for their new striker to arrive in the meantime hope Chris Hughton's current chargers can ensure the Dutch striker is joining a Premier League club.
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As for Van Wolfswinkel, he has had his own doubters to deal with in the Portuguese capital.
'Off course it is hard to explain to people – some people think I am already in England,' he said. 'But I'm here in Sporting and I think I showed tonight that I want the best for Sporting and for the team, and it's no reason for me to keep calm and play easy. I need to give my maximum for Sporting. They deserve that.
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'It is always sad when you leave a club that you really like. But it is also a new step for me in my career, to play in the Premier League and to develop myself.
'But the season is not finished yet so I don't want to think too much about England. I want to focus on Sporting now and these are the only three points I can think about now.'
Van Wolfswinkel's Easter Monday hat-trick against a side that played in the Champions League group stages this season will certainly have whet the appetite of City fans.
The striker scored twice with his head from teasing deliveries – via Alvalade and Cédric respectively. The first owed plenty to Van Wolfswinkel's movement, the second to his desire.
Those sandwiched a sublime second, a left-footed drive that flew past Quim high off the inside of his near post, while the Sporting number nine also crashed a 20-yard pile-driver against the Braga bar as 10-man Lisbon won 3-2 to continue chasing down a Europa League spot, in what has been a tumultuous season dogged by financial trouble.
'It wasn't real perfect but we started good I think,' added Van Wolfswinkel. 'We just gave two goals away and it wasn't necessary. We get in 2-2 at half-time and we worked really hard in the second half, and I think we deserved two penalties. What do you get instead of a penalty? You get a yellow card – so that means we got a red.
'So we played with 10 men but we keep on fighting and we made the (winning) goal.'