Norwich striker Gary Hooper now targeting place in England squad
The 25-year-old has moved to the Premier League from Celtic
Tuesday 30 July 2013
Striker Gary Hooper believes his chances of an England call-up have been improved by his move to Norwich from Celtic.
The 25-year-old was linked with a move to Carrow Road in January, but stayed to play Champions League football with Celtic before signing a three-year deal with Chris Hughton's men last week.
"You don't really get a look-in up there," said Hooper of England.
"Down here you've got more chance. The main thing is playing, getting on the pitch first, and doing what I do.
"To play for your country is anyone's dream, but my first dream is to play in the Premiership."
Injury denied Hooper a call-up earlier this year, but he now hopes to impress England boss Roy Hodgson week-in, week-out in England's top flight.
Hooper scored 31 goals for Scottish champions Celtic last season and is the Canaries' seventh summer signing.
He was Celtic's leading goalscorer for the last three seasons, having joined from Scunthorpe in 2010 for £2.4million.
Hughton supports Hooper's ambition and hopes the striker can provide the cutting edge that was lacking last season.
"He's got to play well enough for Norwich City Football Club and score goals and prove that he can do it in this very, very difficult league," Hughton said.
"That's the reason why he's here and that's the wonderful challenge that he has.
"Last season we felt at times we could have been a little bit more creative and scored more goals.
"It was an area we've tried to address - and we will continue to try to address - and Gary's very much a big part of that."
Hooper is the second striker recruited this summer by Hughton, following the record signing of Dutch international Ricky van Wolfswinkel for £8.5million from Sporting Lisbon.
Norwich have also signed Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer from FC Twente, Birmingham wing Nathan Redmond, left-backs Javier Garrido and Martin Olsson plus the goalkeeper Carlo Nash.
"We have made improvements this summer and over the last two summers," Hughton said.
"We're still weighing up all the options that we've got. We'll continue assessing.
"We have a responsibility to make sure we're as competitive as possible."
Norwich have been linked with another striker in Fabio Quagliarella of Juventus, a connection Hughton attributed to speculation.
Winger Robert Snodgrass has been linked with a move away from Carrow Road, but Hughton dismissed that prospect.
"We want to keep hold of our best players," the Canaries boss said.
"We are a club that doesn't need to sell; we're looking to strengthen, as opposed to letting players go."
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