There are plenty of rumors flying around at the moment regarding the future of Norwich City’s Grant Holt. And I certainly don’t want to add to the uncertainly by bringing his place into question myself. I still feel he could have a role to play in the near future if not the longer term.
However, it has been made clear in recent games that Kei Kamara is currently ahead of him in the pecking order. I have said in another piece that it’s a big call to play Kamara on his own considering he has Holt available. Nevertheless, the big number nine will be disappointed with his goal-scoring record this term.
Fans will remember that he scored 15 league goals in his debut season in the Premier League; a tally of just five this term has been very disappointing. It’s fair to say that Chris Hughton’s defensive football may not have suited him, but he would still have expected to score more.
Hughton acquired another new striker in the January transfer window in the shape of Luciano Becchio, but he has hardly featured and still waiting for his first goal. Of course, Kamara is only on loan so may not be retained. But it appears that Hughton is pretty smitten with him, given the amount he has used him.
Nevertheless, the biggest threat to Holt is a man that isn’t yet in the building. When Norwich agreed to pay £8.5m for Ricky van Wolfswinkel they showed they are in the market for a reliable goal-scorer. Whatever you say about Holt it’s clear that the Dutchman will be Hughton’s man, and for the first time in his Norwich career, Holt will just be another striker in the squad.
This may not sit well with Norwich’s current number nine, especially if he finds out that he will now only feature infrequently. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t dare question Holt’s loyalty to the cause and I’m sure he would stay out of choice. The big question will be on Hughton’s shoulders in terms of how much he values an aging striker on the bench.
The other interesting element to all this is squad numbers, if van Wolfswinkel is given the number nine shirt, then where will that leave Holt. It’s hard to imagine him not wearing the coveted number, but that seems to be an increasingly strong possibility next season.