Norwich have announced that they have agreed a deal to bring Netherlands international striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel to Carrow Road next season. The talented forward is set to join the Canaries on July 1st for an undisclosed fee. Despite the fact that it is an excellent signing for Norwich, the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool will surely have had the Sporting Lisbon man on their scouting radars.
After excellent form in breaking onto the scene in the Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem and Utrecht, a move to Portugal and 25 goals last season followed. Van Wolfswinkel has made one solitary appearance for his country, and would surely have represented Holland more often only for the presence of Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Looking at the deal, it is a bit of a shock, and Norwich fans should be delighted with the audacity and ambition of their side to sign a player of this quality. Other more-established Premier League teams may well regret their decision not to get involved in the battle for the Dutch forward’s signature.
Spurs’ lack of striking options has been apparent this season, with only Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor for Andre Villas-Boas to pick from, and surely the north London side will look to reinforce in the summer. Van Wolfswinkel would have been a cost-effective and able addition to their squad.
Chelsea’s next manager will decide the fate of misfiring forward Fernando Torres, but with the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard creating chances for a lone Blues frontman, a prolific finisher is needed to get the Stamford Bridge club back into the hunt for medals. Van Wolfswinkel might not be the world-beater that Roman Abramovich would hope to sign, but his eye for goal would have offered the West Londoners an added threat.
Finally, Liverpool have been linked with Van Wolfswinkel in the past and it is a surprise that they were not involved this time round in the attempt to sign him. With Fabio Borini flopping since his move from Roma last summer, an extra bit of bite in attack would be welcomed on Merseyside to take pressure off Luis Suarez – Van Wolfswinkel could well have been the man to help the Reds in their top-four ambitions.
The Netherlands international will arrive at Carrow Road with an adoring Norwich fanbase waiting, and will complement the direct approach of Grant Holt for Chris Hughton’s men. The likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool may well be kicking themselves in a year’s time when Van Wolfswinkel could be a transfer target and his valuation has doubled.