Speculation about Wes Hoolahan’s Norwich City future is reignited as Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert talks of his need for a “specialist attacking midfielder”

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has brushed off speculation linking Wes Hoolahan with a January transfer window exit to Aston Villa. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has brushed off speculation linking Wes Hoolahan with a January transfer window exit to Aston Villa. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, January 6, 2014
10:11 AM

Norwich City fans hoping Wes Hoolahan will remain at Carrow Road have been given fresh reason to worry after Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert spoke of his desire to sign an attacking midfielder.

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Paul Lambert congratulates Wes Hoolahan of Norwich at the end of the Barclays Premier League match against Bolton at Carrow Road stadium, Norwich, in February 2012. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.Paul Lambert congratulates Wes Hoolahan of Norwich at the end of the Barclays Premier League match against Bolton at Carrow Road stadium, Norwich, in February 2012. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Speculation that the 31-year-old Ireland international could be on his way to Villa for a fee in the region of £1.5m surfaced in national newspapers at the end of last week.

Fears that Hoolahan’s time with the Canaries could be coming to an end were ramped up further on Saturday when the tricky midfielder was left out of Chris Hughton’s side for their FA Cup third round clash with Fulham.

But Hughton said after the 1-1 stalemate that Hoolahan had reported an injury in training the day before the game, saying: “It was nothing to do with being linked with other clubs.”

But former City boss Lambert has reignited the speculation after talking about his need to sign a player very much in the Hoolahan mould following his side’s embarrassing 2-1 home defeat to League One Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert during his side's FA Cup Third Round defeat to Sheffield United at Villa Park on Saturday. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert during his side's FA Cup Third Round defeat to Sheffield United at Villa Park on Saturday. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

“We don’t have a specialist attacking midfielder - I call them number 10s,” Lambert said.

“Players who are prepared to take a chance and take risks are important. If you can get somebody like that in your side, they can make things happen.

“We don’t have that special type of player who knows how to get into little pockets on the pitch and create chances.

“They’re worth their weight in gold if you can get them - and pretty dear!”

Hoolahan has played 206 times for the Canaries in a hugely successful spell since joining in the summer of 2008, scoring 35 goals and helping City rise from League One to the Premier League with back-to-back promotions.

He extended his contract with the Canaries through to the summer of 2015 in December 2012 but has found himself in and out of Hughton’s starting line-up this season.

Related links

RUMOUR MILL: Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan the subject of £1.5m Aston Villa enquiry

Chris Hughton will not have sleepless nights over Wes Hoolahan transfer talk

38 comments

  • A telling point made on Saturday evening when Josh Murphy was asked whet CH coaches them to do. His reply was that he makes them very aware of their defensive duties and tracking back......no mention of going at defences.

    Report this comment

    Mikey B

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • It definitely has the wiff of Lambert trying to stir things up, I'm hoping that's all it is.... For all the grumblings about performance on the pitch I still think CH and the board are pretty savvy when it comes to transfers

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Remember how the Villa fans were crowing about Lambert at the end of last season and chanting his name? Now they want him out! Would be ironic if Wes signs for Villa and then Lambert gets shown the door! I would, however, be more annoyed if we were to sell Howson instead.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Interesting that West Ham board have come out and given Allardyce their full backing. I really would like to know where the NCFC board are on CH - no comment so far says they are considering a change.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Fabulous photos: Cleverly to Wes: Give me back me jockstr&p ye wee sh&te Lambert to Wes: Don't let the stewards grind ya down son, come back to my place an I'll keck ya some stew. Lambert to self: Om

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Sorry, timeslip there....

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Just a load of petty gamesmanship from Lambchops, if indeed there is anything in it. Rumours are just rumours, and there are plenty of those this time of year. Either that or Lambchops has just chanced his arm with a cheeky little bid with the intention of starting a deliberate rumour to unsettle City supporters (and possibly the team). If his intentions were serious I suspect a more realistic offer would have been made. £1.5m doesn't go far in the PL these days...

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • A telling point made on Saturday evening when Josh Murphy was asked whet CH coaches them to do. His reply was that he makes them very aware of their defensive duties and tracking back......no mention of going at defences.

    Report this comment

    Mikey B

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I don't believe this at all. Lambert hasn't said he's interested in Hoolahan specifcially. The Star said villa has put in a 1.5m bid, yet according to Norwich they haven't. I think this is bored journalists at the nationals lacking proper news to report and stirring up some drama with a semi-conceivable scenario in its absence. I'd readily put money on Hoolahan still being at the club at the end of this transfer window.

    Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I was under the impression that Wes is under contract and could only go if the club wanted to sell him. I think the club would be mad to sell him to Villa, unless of course it was for incredibly stupid money (I'm talking in the Bale category) and I don't think they will. Pubmandave, you seem to have a bit of an obsession with your idea of a cash cow. You have made accusations in the past about certain directors making off with "our" money. Name names or is this just another figment of your imagination?

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • “Players who are prepared to take a chance and take risks are important. If you can get somebody like that in your side, they can make things happen". Can't imagine Houghton ever coming out with that! Why wouldn't Wes want to go?

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Lets hope Paul L gets the sack,that way he can return to carrow road and sort this mess out! If only

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Perhaps this is a smoke screen and he is really after Howson who is another attacking midfielder, after all CH is reluctant to play him in the hole most of the time even when he is fit.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • OMG I hope we dont sell Wes. It would leave the door open for the awful Elmander to become a permanent fixture for the rest of the season..... then again, maybe he already is :-\ Better still, why not just cancel the loan deal for Elmander and let Lambert have HIM instead.

    Report this comment

    CanaryWest

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • This is all a big wind up surely .

    Report this comment

    spark

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Would the board really sell to Villa after all that has gone on though??

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • This story is 2 weeks old, The Daily Mail led with the headline "Carrow Crisis" and said in that article that Hoolahan and Bassong had been earmarked for the boot after "undermining Lambert's control of players". When will you supporters realise that NCFC is not run for the supporters, it is ran as Delia and her cronies "cash-cow".

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • If you look at todays Birmingham News they say Lambert is looking for a Hoolahan type player who can creat things out of nothing, he is obviously after Hoolahan but possibly time for retribution by Norwich City Execs. in the bad way Lambert left our club. A V fans are keener to get rid of Lambert than we were to keep him. Karma.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Murphy has answered a good question honestly but will presumably be identified as the one who spilled The beans about Hughtons coaching - but we know that already - it's a pity the board can't see him for what he is and get rid of him now - please before it's too late.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I have said this before and i will say it again, if you let wes hoolahan leave this football club mr hughton you know where the door is, the fans will never forgive you if you let wes leave, are best player, i wouldn't blame him if he does leave because he isn't getting any game time and every time he does we actually look like scoring, which hughton wont like as he likes to defend, think about it mr hughton,

    Report this comment

    hooley14

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • You obviously need a maths lesson, but you work it out, home matches x attendance + sky payment + PL balloon payment = £118,000,000 in 2012. Where is it all going, other than directors "loan" payments (have'nt the time or space to explain that to you, but basically directors take the value of their shares, then sell them to the club, then draw a divident against theose shares as a tax free income) - Delia withdrew £4,000,000 in 2013. Another 27,000,000 was also withdrawn. Buy a lot of decent players for that ?

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Exactly my point on Hughton. Any normal manager even if hes lying through his teeth would come out and say "hes not for sale" just to keep fans onside. Hughton said everything BUT that. No different to Lambert when we saw the beginning of the end of him at Carrow Road. When ever he was questioned he said anything BUT "im happy at norwich going nowhere"....until right at the end when you knew it was just a sarky response. I pay no attention to press conferences and player interviews these days. There all generic safe answers. Was refreshing this season to hear the likes of Josh Murphy who bless him was nervous but hasnt had the generic "what to say" answers drilled into him. also Leroy Fer and his rebel attitude was quite entertaining to. Sadly all the rest though are full of the boring same old same old responses.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • If Lambert sees Hoolahan as a specialist attacking midfielder - no wonder Hughton does not pick him. He has no need for an attacking midfielder let alone a specialist one.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Is it actually possible to run any club as a 'cash cow' nowadays?! Even most of the 'big' clubs tend to operate at a loss most years, kept afloat by the sheikhs and oligarchs.

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • …..Wouldn't it be refreshing if Mr Hughton said when he comes back to work tomorrow “Hoolahan is going nowhere!” just like his Tea Lady did, when Grant Holt was having his 'will he! won't he' time!......How can Delia and the others even consider this to be a move that will make Norwich City a better side?...They will save NOTHING on wages, having to pay out much more for a replacement, plus the millions in transfer fees....I doubt that Mr Hughton and his aides have any idea about quality football or natural ability so decide to 'build' their side with substandard bricks!...Come on Mr McNally! Do yourself, the Club and many, many supporters the kindest favour possible...get rid quickly, and seriously consider promoting someone already on site!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Good point Victor M. I can imagine Hughton's reaction to "Attacking midfielder" is like the Peter Kay sketch "Garlic bread".

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Unfortunately I agree with you Leslie. Let's sell him and sign another keeper eh Chris?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Good point Victor M. I can imagine Hughton's reaction to "Attacking midfielder" is like the Peter Kay sketch "Garlic bread".

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I'm greedy so want the double - Hughton and Davitt. Both unfit for purpose - gone:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I thought that to Mikey B. Josh Murphy was a breathe of fresh air when being interviewed because he hasn't had the generic footballer responses to questions drilled into his head yet. He just answered nervously and honestly. Darren Eadie picked up on the comment to as when Rob butler asked "did Mike Walker ever say the same thing to you and coach you defensive duties" to which Darren responded "no, he saw where players were talented and let them get on and focus on what there talented at". Were probley going over the top but did sound typical of Hughton's percieved traits that he'd try coach the attacking attributes out of one of our few attacking stars. lol

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • How Wes has been treated by the present management who could blame him if he joined Villa I doubt that he would not have played recently had other players not been injured and at least he would be appreciated and played by Lambert

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Alot of this does not carry enough weight to make me want to buy into it and believe it. Nothing more than Lambert playing his usual tricks by taking the attention off his own shambles of a side and putting the spot light onto someone elses. People forget how sneaky and good he is at that. I doubt highly Wes would have extended his current contract only a short time ago if he now wants to leave. Only way its true is if its totally come out of nowhere and Lamberts suddenly decided he wants him. Ultimately would the board sell to Villa even if they had to? Doubt it. I wouldn't blame Wes if he wanted out as Hughton has not got the first idea how to use players like Wes. Hes fair more concerned with being defensive and trying not to let a goal in before thinking about scoring one of our own. I'll be stunned if Wes does to go to Villa but wouldn't blame the player. As Lambert said "players like Wes are worth there weight in gold"....we've currently got a manager in Hughton who can't work that out. Scary!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • You have a very strange and novel idea as to the nature of directors' loans. Clearly not an accountant.

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • If Lambert sees Hoolahan as a specialist attacking midfielder - no wonder Hughton does not pick him. He has no need for an attacking midfielder let alone a specialist one.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Chuckle, chuckle

    Report this comment

    NB

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Still only speculation and hopefully false. If CH does sell him, I think the quiet opposition will start to become not so quiet.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • What is all the fuss about? Wes is a good player, but he didnt play that much in the prem under Lambo either. Look at the stats. Storm in a teacup comes to mind. He is going nowhere for £1.5m.

    Report this comment

    Ghana Dom

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • When are the board going to wake up and smell the roses regarding mr hughton for goodness sake this man has succeded in turning this club back into the soft touch it was before the Lambert era he continues to stifle every attacking ideas we ever had and just looking at our fixture list I fear it's already to late , as for a replacement I'm not sure Malky is the answer but we need some fresh ideas and to release the shackles placed on our players and start attacking teams !! Please Mr hughton you are not the man to take this club forward and never have been do the decent thing and allow the fans to start watching football again

    Report this comment

    Victor meldrew

    Monday, January 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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