Norwich’s Gary Hooper chase illustrates the Canaries’ transfer market resolve

Posted by Paddy Davitt

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesFormer Celtic striker Gary Hooper is on his way to Norwich.

Doggedness is not immediately apparent as a desirable trait in the transfer market, but it has defined Norwich's activity over the summer months.

Gary Hooper's arrival from Celtic after City's attempts to prise the Englishman away from Parkhead in January met with polite refusals is simply the latest example. Hooper will join Ricky van Wolfswinkel in a new look spearhead that contrasts radically with the more robust bludgeons of Grant Holt and Steve Morison in recent times. The expensively-acquired Dutchman's move was similarly a reward for perseverance after Sporting Lisbon's initial quote tumbled as the Lions' financial woes intensified amid presidential electioneering in spring. The 24-year-old officially completed his move to Carrow Road in July, but the ink on the contract had long since dried. City's patience has snared another young, mobile, predator. Hooper rejected QPR's advances for the lure of the Premier League after completing a medical in Norfolk prior to signing a three-year-deal -- with an additional one-year option -- for a fee reportedly in the region of £5.2m.

- Norwich confirm signing of Hooper

A title procession in Scotland and flirtations with the Champions League were no longer able to satisfy his appetite to prove his worth south of the border after a prolific spell in Glasgow.

The inevitable questions will now start about Hooper's prowess to replicate in the Premier League his plunder in the less challenging environments of the SPL and the Football League following his grounding at Scunthorpe. Hooper certainly possesses the raw material to embellish a threadbare area of Chris Hughton's squad. Ola Toivonen's lukewarm response to City's courtship left van Wolfswinkel and Luciano Becchio as the only recognised strikers on the club's recent USA pre-season tour. Fabio Quagliarella remains a live target. Catania's Maxi Lopez is a name for the gossip columnists only to digest, but Hooper is a welcome addition.

A more pertinent question is whether Hughton sees the powerful forward as a foil for van Wolfswinkel or direct competition in that lone front-running role. Hughton reiterated again on the west coast of America his desire is to inject a healthy rivalry right across his squad. Some areas of the roster look abundantly catered for already after a productive trading period. Nathan Redmond's arrival from Birmingham has added to a congested midfield mix. Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington were the Hooper men in possession when injury did not intervene last season -- one a seasoned Scottish international, one on the cusp of making his representative bow for the Republic of Ireland. But Redmond is one of the new breed of English stylists. Elliott Bennett also proved towards the end of an ultimately successful campaign for the club that he can influence Premier League matches. Hooper's introduction is unlikely to be the last at the top end of Hughton's squad.


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