Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has sealed his season-long loan move to French top flight club St Etienne.
The Canaries confirmed the move on Tuesday evening with the 25-year-old linking up with the Greens on a season-long loan deal, with an option to buy.
Van Wolfswinkel scored once on his Premier League debut against Everton in 27 appearances for Norwich following his move from Sporting Lisbon.
City chief Neil Adams, speaking to the club’s official site, praised van Wolfswinkel’s professionalism despite a tough season in England.
“I can’t speak highly enough about how professional Ricky has been even though he had a difficult first season at the club,” he said. “His attitude has been first class, and this move represents an opportunity for him to play regularly and get back to scoring goals in the way he has done in the past. We wish him the best of luck.”
Van Wolfswinkel, in his first interview with St Etienne’s official site, admitted he was desperate to push through his move after positive talks.
“I’m very happy; I really wanted to sign here,” he said. “Members of management, the coach, the people who work at the club have given me the feeling they want me to join Saint-Etienne. I was able to talk with the coach, it was a very good first impression and I look forward to working with him. The ASSE is one of the largest French clubs. Last year, the coach and the team have achieved very good results. To finish fourth in the championship of France is not easy. My goal is to work hard for the team and to be important for the club.“
Greens’ coach Christope Galtier confirmed van Wolfswinkel is still nursing the knee problem that forced him to miss City’s recent Italian tour but the Dutchman passed his medical with no long term concerns.
“Ricky was someone we followed and identified, but we did not have the ability to get a loan (in the past). He is a player that ASSE could not buy,” he said. “We had seen this player during the friendly match against Sporting Lisbon two seasons. When you told me about the possibility of obtaining a loan due to the relegation of Norwich in the English second division, there was very quickly good exchanges between us and his advisers.
“This is an interesting profile and a true scorer. We will facilitate his integration. Now he will have to be prepared on an athletic level since he started with a little delay due to a knee injury during a friendly match. All medical examinations show that everything is fine now. This is a boy who seems to be at ease quickly, I do not think there will be problems of integration or adaptation. He is a young player who has already travelled, which is fresh and sparkling.“
• Read Wednesday’s Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News for the full story on van Wolfswinkel’s French move and the financial figures behind the proposed deal.