Gary Hooper‘s move to Norwich City has come at the right time and will be beneficial to his career.
The 25-year-old’s £5m move to the Premier League is to be crucial in his development and will be a real judge of quite how good he is, given the high praise from his time at Celtic.
The move itself is a wise one. Queen’s Park Rangers were believed to have also been an option, but Hooper is really progressing himself by moving to the top level of football rather than a step back. By remaining with Celtic in January and making his move now, he has achieved a couple of bonuses; he has experienced the Champions League knock-out stages and showed he can still be a handful at that level despite defeat to Juventus. But also, he now has the opportunity to be Norwich‘s main man. The unrivaled striker who Norwich will look towards to be their spearhead. This previously was Grant Holt, but as Hooper joins with Holt departing he can get down to business with a season ahead where he will be looking to prove himself.
At 25 Hooper has the chance now to grab the attention of those in the Premier League and also a spot in the England squad. Roy Hodgson has notably lacked quality striking options in recent times, and although Hooper doesn’t erase that problem just yet, he could do so in the future if all goes well.
Having scored 31 goals in the SPL last season you would expect Hooper to make some impression on Norwich fans, whether that will expand to a height where he is regarded as one of England’s top strikers in the future is a big ask. However, those who see the SPL as a false judge of talent should remember Hooper was the Championship’s top goal scorer before he made his move to Scotland – ahead of the Andy Carroll.
But moving to the top-flight really was imperative to whether he would ever really develop. His Celtic days were bright and successful, but now he can really show us all what he is all about. It’s a chance he has to take, but for both Hooper and Chris Hughton, this seems a very good move indeed – especially given the low price for an English player.