Updated: Norwich City loan striker Gary Hooper is the missing link at Sheffield Wednesday
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Norwich City hitman Gary Hooper can fire Sheffield Wednesday to success insists Owls' head coach Carlos Carvalhal after the striker completed a loan move until January 17.
Hooper trained for the first time with his new team mates on Wednesday after moving to Hillsborough on the eve of the Owls' midweek Capital One Cup win over Arsenal - with reports in Yorkshire claiming the Owls have paid a £500,000 loan fee and agreed to cover all of the striker's five-figure salary.
Alex Neil admitted the 27-year-old was well down the pecking order at Carrow Road after just two Premier League appearances this season, but Carvalhal is no doubt over Hooper's quality after failing to land him in the summer.
Hooper confirmed when he faced the media on Thursday afternoon he was poised to follow Michael Turner to the Owls in August.
'I was supposed to sign on the same day as Michael Turner but my deal fell through. I had medical and it just didn't happen.
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'It didn't happen because of Norwich. They said they needed me,' he said. 'It has been on-going but it is nice to be here. I have spoken to the gaffer a few times and seen the players today. The gaffer wants me to play games and score goals. Hopefully I can help the team climb up the table.'
Carvalhal, speaking to the Sheffield Star, has not ruled out Hooper making his Owls' Championship debut against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. The former Celtic striker was not involved at Norwich in recent weeks due to an ankle problem but had returned to full training after the last international break.
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'I'm very happy we have signed Gary. We have followed him a long time. He was my first option for the position. We tried to bring him in August but it was not possible at that moment,' he said. 'There were a few players linked with us in the newspapers but our focus was all the time on Gary because I think he can help improve the team. He has quality and characteristics that can increase the value in our team.
'Let's see if Gary will be ready or not,' said the Portuguese. 'We will see how he trains and how he understands the way we are playing and then make a decision.'
Owls' midfielder Barry Bannan is also banking on Hooper to make an impact.
'We have signed another top, top striker,' he said. 'Gary has proved his worth. I have seen him at Celtic and at Norwich so we look forward to him joining to the team and adding to what we have already got here.'
Neil felt Hooper would get limited game-time in the weeks ahead.
'I have Lewis, Cameron Jerome, Kyle and (Dieumerci) Mbokani,' he said, after City's Capital One Cup exit at Everton. 'Week after week two were getting left out of the squad completely. Gary wanted to play some football and I see those other guys ahead of him in terms of the style of football I want to play. I felt it was necessary for him to go and get some game-time.'