Transfer news: Norwich confirm signing of striker Gary Hooper on a three-year-deal
Hooper joins the Canaries from Celtic for an undisclosed fee and becomes their seventh signing of the summer so far
Friday 26 July 2013
Norwich have confirmed the signing of striker Gary Hooper from Celtic after the player passed a medical and agreed personal terms to a three-year deal.
Hooper becomes the Canaries seventh signing of the summer, continuing their impressive run of signings following the acquisitions of Javier Garrido, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Nathan Redmond, Martin Olsson, Carlo Nash and Leroy Fer.
The English forward spent three years at Celtic Park, making 95 league appearances and scoring an impressive 63 goals in his time north of the border.
Hooper has been mentioned with an international call-up for England, which is likely to have influenced his decision to move to the Premier League in order for England manager Roy Hodgson to see more of the 25 year-old.
Speaking to Norwich’s official club website, he said: “"There's been a lot of speculation going back to January and I'm pleased to have finally put pen to paper and joined Norwich.
"I can't wait to get down to work, to get training with the lads and working with the coaching staff. I knew Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood from my youth days at Spurs so it will be great to be back working with them in the Premier League.
"I have scored goals at every level I have played at and the challenge of playing in the Premier League is really exciting to me."
He moved to Celtic from Scunthorpe United, but actually began his career as part of Tottenham’s youth academy in 1995. He left Spurs in 2002 to join similar set-up’s at Maidon Town and Grays Athletic, before signing his first professional deal with the latter.
The Scottish FA had made enquiry’s into his eligibility in the hope that his Grandfather was born on the Scotland side of the border town Berwick-upon-Tweed, but he was ruled English. He has flirted with an international call-up with the Under-21’s, but was dropped at the final selection point 2011 World Championships.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon today described Hooper as the club's best striker since Henrik Larsson and said his departure was a "huge loss" for the Bhoys, but seemed to understand why Hooper wanted the move.
"For me he has been one of my best signings in so many ways - value for money, the improvement in the player, his goals and his link up play,” admitted Lennon.
"I think he's been the best striker here since Henrik and he will be a huge loss to us.
"He has aspirations to play for England and to play in the Premier League. I wish him well. Part of me wants to strangle him but you don't want to stop the progression of some individuals.
"Gary feels the next step forward to try and break into the England team is to play in the Premier League."
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster won the League One title with Norwich back in 2009/10, and Hooper spoke to his former teammate to seek information on the club.
"I had a chat with Fraser about Norwich and he said it was a great club, with great fans and in a really nice part of the world. He said he really enjoyed his time here," Hooper said.
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