December 6 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Leroy Fer is not just a prodigiously talented footballer, he is also a fast learner.
"Josh (Murphy) is a really talented boy. He showed his quality against Watford with a brilliant goal and I think he is going to be a future star,"
Norwich City’s Dutch international midfielder has been a stand-out performer in the opening weeks of his introduction to the Premier League. The former FC Twente powerhouse played a pivotal role in the midweek Capital One Cup comeback win against Watford after emerging with plenty of credit in the recent league defeat to Aston Villa.
Fer’s seamless transition to life in England has not been without difficulty. The 23-year-old needed little hesitation yesterday when prompted for the best side he had faced.
“Tottenham. That was a really hard game,” said Fer, reflecting on City’s 2-0 chasing at White Hart Lane. “The possession they had and how they play tell you it is a really good club. (Christian) Eriksen is someone I played against in Holland for Ajax and he is a quality player. It was just as difficult to play against him here in England because he is so clever.
“The Premier League is everything I thought it would be before I came in. Tottenham was hard but I expected that. On a personal level I think I have settled in good for my first season in the Premier League. It has been easy to gel with all the boys.
“I’ve started well but I have to become better. I have to keep training, doing my things and try to be important for Norwich. A few more goals would be good and some assists.”
Fer’s threaded pass for Gary Hooper’s extra-time winner at Vicarage Road underlined his class in possession on a night when another of the club’s attacking midfielder grabbed the headlines.
“Josh (Murphy) is a really talented boy. He showed his quality against Watford with a brilliant goal and I think he is going to be a future star,” said Fer. “The cup game was a big boost for everybody. We wanted to get through to the next round and it is always good to win. Watford played very well on the night. It was a difficult game but we stuck together. It was a real team effort and that is one of our strengths.
“Yes, I’ve watched my pass a few times on television but it was easy to give the ball because (Gary) Hooper made a good reaction. Gary is a good striker and we have some good ones with Ricky (van Wolfswinkel) and Johan (Elmander).
“We have to give them chances to score. I’m looking forward to playing Manchester United in the next round. I used to support them as a boy.”
Fer is loving life in Norfolk after spurning Everton’s renewed advances in the summer after a proposed earlier move to Merseyside collapsed over injury concerns.
“Yes, they came back again in the summer but I decided to stick with Norwich and I have no regrets,” he said. “After my (knee) injury I only played four games when Everton came in. My knee was a little bit swollen so they wanted to see me play more games. The manager here is the one who decided to take me from FC Twente so I know he has a lot of faith in me and it is good for a player like me because I want to play every game. I think overall we’ve played some good matches without getting the points. Against Aston Villa we played well but of course you have to score and we didn’t.”
Van Wolfswinkel’s presence was also a big pull factor with Fer desperate to follow his club mate into the senior international set-up in a World Cup cycle.
“He was a big part of why I wanted to come here,” said Fer. “I could contact him and he knew already about the club here. That was something that helped my decision to come to Norwich.
“Ricky is in the Dutch squad and of course with the World Cup coming up you are thinking about it because you always want to play in the highest competitions. For me, I want to become a better player at Norwich so my focus is here. I played with him in the Under-21s and he played a really good part in one of the qualification campaigns. You know he is a good goalscorer and he will make some goals for Norwich. I enjoy playing with him. He is a good guy.”