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Norwich sign Elmander on loan – but do they really need him?

The former Bolton Wanderers’ forward will spend the rest of the season at Carrow Road after sealing a switch from Galatasaray.

Norwich City have bolstered their options in attack with the loan signing of Sweden international forward Johan Elmander.

The 32-year-old has joined for the rest of the season from Galatasaray, and is delighted to have returned to English football.

“I'm very happy - I'm really looking forward to starting training with the lads and to playing some games also," Elmander told Norwich's official website.

"I know Norwich City has great fans and there's a great atmosphere in the stadium, plus I know a couple of players here already too.

"I'm very glad that the deal has been done and now I'm looking forward to the season ahead."

Chris Hughton has also expressed his delight in bringing the Scandinavian forward to the club.

"I'm really delighted to bring in a player of Johan's experience, not only at club and Premier League level but as a current international," said Hughton.

"It's great to welcome him to our squad."

Elmander spent three seasons at Bolton between 2008 and 2011, and is to this day the Trotters’ record signing after completing an £8.2 million switch from French side Toulouse.

The Swede failed to light up the Premier League with a return of 18 goals in 92 Premier League appearances. His last season before leaving to move to Turkey on a free transfer was his most fruitful, as he netted 10 goals in 37 games.

Looking at Norwich’s deal, a loan move was certainly the best option, as there are question marks whether the Canaries really need Elmander at the club.

Norwich have already spent in the region of £15 million to bring Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper to Carrow Road this summer, and also have Luciano Becchio on their books, who joined in January.

Van Wolfswinkel has all the attributes to be a star in the Premier League and started his campaign with a goal against Everton at the weekend. It looks like a case of him and one other in the Norwich attack this year, and the likelihood that it will be Hooper is overwhelming.

Becchio is also in the running for a starting berth, and hasn’t really been given much of a chance to show what he is capable of as yet. The Argentine netted 75 goals in five seasons at Leeds but has confined to only two starts for the Canaries in the second half of last season.

Elmander will bring experience to the Norwich squad as Hughton points out, but his role will largely be as cover for Van Wolfswinkel and Hooper, who will be the ex-Newcastle manager’s first-choice pairing this season.

image: © OliverN5

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