Surman won over by Lambert's ambition
Chris LakeyPaul Lambert resumed his summer transfer business yesterday with the capture of midfielder Andrew Surman - against a background of reports claiming he had bid �500,000 for Gillingham striker Simeon Jackson.Chris Lakey
Paul Lambert resumed his summer transfer business yesterday with the capture of midfielder Andrew Surman - against a background of reports claiming he had bid �500,000 for Gillingham striker Simeon Jackson.
Surman has signed a three-year deal, joining for an undisclosed fee from Premier League Wolves, and is arguably the most eye-catching of all five signings. Lambert has added three midfielders - Surman, Andrew Crofts and David Fox - and two defenders - Elliot Ward and Steve Smith - to his League One winning squad. But he remains in the market for strikers, with Sky Sports yesterday claiming the bid for Jackson has been turned down by the League Two side - although Lambert will be desperate to avoid sparking a bidding war for a striker who is reportedly being chased by a number of clubs.
Surman's arrival casts more doubt on the future of Darel Russell, whose contract expires at the end of the month and who has been closely linked with a move to rivals Leeds --as well as some of the other members of a midfield contingent now bursting at the seams.
The capture of Surman, 23, certainly sends a message to City's rivals that they mean business next season.
'I first saw Andrew play a while back and have watched him progress with Southampton,' Lambert said. 'He's got a terrific left foot and is very good on the ball.
'At 23 years old he's already got great experience and has played in the Premier League. He will give us balance and like everyone else he will come in and compete for a place. He certainly knows the Championship and I'm sure he do well for us.'
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Surman - born in Johannesburg - joined Wolves last season, having come through the ranks at Southampton. He made nine
appearances for Mick McCarthy's side and believes that experience will stand him in good stead.
'I think in the games that I did play I learned a lot from,' he told the club's official website. 'Training with Premier League players every week improved my game but it was hard to swallow not playing as many games as I would have liked.
'But even travelling to Premier League grounds and watching games you do learn a lot from some of the best players in the world so it was a good experience for me.
'I spoke to (Paul Lambert) and really liked what he had to say.
'This is a club with massive ambition and having spoken to a few of the Southampton players who played against Norwich last season, they all had good things to say about this team. It is an exciting time for the club after promotion last season and being part of that is what really enticed me.
'I'm delighted to be here. It's a massive club and coming on the back of a brilliant promotion from League One last season I'm joining the club on the crest of a wave at the moment.
'For next season we've got to have the same hopes as last season and be pushing for at least the play-offs and look to get promoted again - the club's got a massive fan base and the players are certainly here.'
t ANDREW SURMAN FACT FILE
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa, August 20, 1986.
Height: 5ft 10in.
Weight: 11st 5lb.
Early life: Surman spent his first nine years in South Africa, before the family moved back to England in 1995.
Career: Southampton (2004-09): 128 appearances (plus 18 as substitute) 18 goals; Walsall (2005, loan) 10 (4) 2; Bournemouth (2005-6, loan) 28 (0) 6; Wolves (2009-10) 5 (4) 0.
Transfer fees: Southampton to Wolves �1.2m; Wolves to Norwich undisclosed.
International career: England U21 4 appearances, 1 goal.