Norwich City should not sell striker Cameron Jerome to a Championship rival - and here are the stats to prove why
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Amid reported interest from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and Sunderland, David Freezer assesses whether Norwich City can afford to consider selling experienced striker Cameron Jerome.
Selling striker Cameron Jerome is not something Norwich City can afford to entertain this summer.
That is according to our online poll at pinkun.com, with the majority of voters calling for the Canaries to ignore reported interest for the experienced striker.
Nottingham Forest and Sunderland are keen to sign the 30-year-old, according to national newspaper The Sun – who even went as far to say that Forest would be prepared to offer £6million.
With two years remaining on his contract and City retaining an option for a further 12 months that would be decent money for a forward who turns 31 next month.
However, after a busy off-season that has already seen seven senior players released, four players sold for around £20m and seven players brought in for approaching £5m – Jerome’s reliability in the Championship could be vital.
Norwich City transfer rumours: Nottingham Forest and Sunderland interested in signing striker Cameron Jerome from Norwich City
Despite a frustrating campaign which saw Alex Neil’s team fail to keep pace in the promotion race, the former Birmingham and Cardiff striker still managed 16 goals in 40 games as City remained a lethal force in front of goal, scoring 85 to match Newcastle and Fulham as the division’s top scorers.
Unfortunately, a dreadful defensive record of 69 conceded was worse than only two clubs to waste that attacking prowess.
It means that Jerome has scored 40 goals in 120 matches since he joined City from Stoke in a deal worth around £1.5m in August 2014 – a strike-rate of one in every three games.
Just six players scored more than the powerful Yorkshireman in the Championship last season and only five of the other top 10 scorers had a better conversion rate, with Jerome scoring his 16 goals from 84 shots, averaging a goal every 5.3 shots.
Given the high turnover rate of players, should that reliability he offers really be made available to others, even for a potential £6m?
With the money from Jacob Murphy’s sale to Newcastle, £10m up front with another £2.5m in potential add-ons, secured this week the financial pressures have certainly eased at Carrow Road.
The club’s self-funding structure means managing director Steve Stone will retain a careful grasp of the proverbial purse strings but sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Daniel Farke are still trying to piece together a squad capable of chasing promotion back to the Premier League.
Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira looks likely to have the edge on Jerome as first-choice striker as things stand after scoring 11 in 28 games following a bit-part start to last season.
There’s no denying there have been some spectacular and frustrating misses during his Canaries career but Jerome should remain an important part of the squad.
Forest’s interest may already have cooled as well, as a £2m fee has reportedly been agreed with Newcastle for Daryl Murphy, since The Sun’s report linking the Nottingham club with Jerome was published.
The Republic of Ireland international, 34, was signed from Ipswich for around £3m a year ago and scored six goals in 22 games in all competitions but is seen as surplus to requirements by the Magpies following promotion and is set for a medical after agreeing a two-year deal with Forest.
That follows the sale of Britt Assombalonga to Middlesbrough for £15m, giving manager Mark Warburton funds to spend, having avoided relegation on goal-difference last season.
Sunderland are also said to still be looking for a replacement for Jermain Defoe and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is also a reported fan of Jerome but either club would have to make a big offer to tempt City into considering selling to potential promotion rivals.
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