Sweet revenge? 10 years after Tottenham release, Hooper set for Norwich debut at White Hart Lane

Could Gary Hooper complete a remarkable decade by bagging a goal on Premier League debut against the team who released him when 14-years-old.

Gary Hooper is finally set to make his debut in the Premier League, after recovering from a shin problem that has left him unable to make an appearance in the top-flight so far this season. The 25-year-old made the move from Celtic this summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £5 to £7 million.

Now it is reported that Hooper will play for Norwich City at White Hart Lane after training this week, in his recovery from the problem picked up in an otherwise impressive pre-season.

The Englishman has moved to Carrow Road in a bid to earn a place in the England squad at next summer’s World Cup, and if he can produce any of the form that saw him bag 31 goals in 51 appearances north of the border in 2013-14 - then he has genuinely got a great shot of making it into the Three Lions fold.

And in a sense of poetic justice, he can start that journey where his professional career began, and appeared over as a teen.

At just 14-years-old Spurs released Hooper and he descended into non-league obscurity with Essex-based outfit Maldon Town. He then played a part in the emergence of Grays Athletic and was snapped up by Southend United. But it was not until a loan-spell at Hereford United that he truly proved his worth. A subsequent successful spell at Scunthorpe United followed and he has been banging in the goals over the border since 2010.

This is not the short, skinny lad that Spurs let go in 2002. He is now a strong and bullish centre-forward and with a point to prove he could be a real danger when the two teams face off this afternoon.

If Hooper gets a chance he is likely to take it with both hands, that is simply what he does both on the pitch and off of it.

Released at 14-years-old, and now, ten years later he will hope to show Tottenham what they are missing with his first steps into Premier League football.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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