Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan would be tempted by a Paul Lambert reunion at Aston Villa
10:36 23 January 2014
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +44814 482222
Wantaway Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan insists he will not go on strike to force through a Carrow Road move – but the Irishman admitted he would be tempted by a reunion with Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert.
The 31-year-old had a transfer request rejected on Tuesday by the Canaries following a recent enquiry from the Villans which was dismissed as ‘derisory’ by City’s hierarchy.
Hoolahan revealed in an interview with the Telegraph he has been frustrated by his lack of first team action under Chris Hughton, but the Irishman pledged to remain professional until his future is resolved ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
“If I’m picked by the manager then I will play because I don’t want to let the club and the players down,” he said. “Ideally I want a resolution but I’m not planning on going on strike or refusing to play. The facts don’t lie. I’ve only started five Premier League games this season. That’s why I want to go.
“I’ve had loads of good times at the club. The back-to-back promotion seasons were obviously special, particularly the game against Portsmouth that secured our place in the Premier League. The first year in the Premier League was also great. But now I want a new challenge.”
Hoolahan is contracted to Carrow Road until 2015 but the Dubliner insisted there had been no contact with the Midlands club.
“I haven’t spoken to anybody at Aston Villa, but of course a move to play for Paul Lambert again would appeal to me,” Hoolahan is quoted as saying. “I played some of the best football of my career under him and it was Paul who converted me from a winger to playing in the hole behind the striker.
“It’s a shame it has got to this. I tried to do things sensibly and quietly because I’ve not been involved whatsoever. But I was told the club do not want to sell me. I don’t really know what will happen next, hopefully there will be more conversations to resolve the matter. There has not been any big row or anything like that. The club know my wishes and that is as far as it has gone.”
Hoolahan is Norwich’s longest serving player but the Republic of Ireland international reiterated he felt the time had come to break his ties with the club he joined back in 2008.
“The last couple of months, I’ve not been playing as much as I would have liked,” he said. “I’ve been at Norwich for five-and-a-half years and I have the utmost respect for the fans and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club. But I feel my time here has now run its course and I need a new challenge.
“At my age, I need to be playing regular first-team football and that is not happening at Norwich. There have been times this season when I’ve not even been included in the squad and the majority of the time I have been on the bench.”