Belfast Telegraph

Fee no concern for Van Wolfswinkel

Norwich's new goalscoring hero Ricky van Wolfswinkel insists he is not feeling the pressure of becoming the club's record signing after scoring in Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Everton.

The £8.5million summer signing from Sporting Lisbon headed the Canaries level on his debut after they had fallen 2-1 behind at Carrow Road, with Chris Hughton's side then hanging on to secure a point in their Barclays Premier League opener.

With the likes of Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer and Nathan Redmond also moving to Norwich since the end of last season, Van Wolfswinkel is not the only new arrival expected to help the club progress.

But the majority of fans in and around Carrow Road had adorned their new Norwich shirts with his name and there was extra vigour in their pre-match cheers when he was announced in City's starting line-up.

That level of expectation could harm the chances of a player without the right temperament, but for 24-year-old Van Wolfswinkel, all he wants to do is perform well for his new club.

"The fee is not something that I'm thinking about," he said after the match. "I'm just concentrating on doing my best for the team.

"I actually don't feel any pressure because of the big transfer fee. In a way it provides more motivation for me and it gives me a great feeling that they were so determined to bring me to Norwich."

Both the fee and the decision of a player rated as highly as Van Wolfswinkel raised some eyebrows when the deal was announced, but the Holland international is delighted with the move and is looking forward to building on his goalscoring debut.

"Why Norwich? Why not? For me this is a great club," he said.

"I like the whole atmosphere around the club, the stadium and the city. For me it's just the perfect place to play. Norwich did everything in their power to get me here and that gives me a great feeling.

"From the first moment that I signed for Norwich, this was the day that I've been waiting for, to play in front of a full house at Norwich.

"But there's no-one that I am looking forward to playing against especially. The Premier League has so many great teams. For me this is a great football country. For me this is the highest level.

"My target is to do well with the team. I know that you want to hear I'm going to score 15 or 20 goals or something, but I don't want to set a target and not live up to it. I just want to do was well as I can for the team. If I'm not scoring, I just want to be important to the team in another way as well."

If he can keep popping up with vital goals as he did on yesterday, Norwich fans may also want to extend a thank you to reigning champions Manchester United after Van Wolfswinkel revealed their talismanic forward Robin van Persie sang the praises of the club during an international break.

"When I was with the national team, I spoke to Van Persie before I signed for Norwich," Van Wolfswinkel added.

"He said that Norwich had made a big impression on him and he said that they were always a difficult team to play against and that their crowd really got behind them. I know that they beat Manchester United 1-0 last season."

A trip to newly promoted Hull is next up for Norwich and Van Wolfswinkel, with both parties hoping that a lively performance and a well-taken header on his Canaries bow can be matched at the KC Stadium on Saturday.


From Belfast Telegraph