When Chris Hughton identified Luciano Becchio as the man to help Norwich City score more goals and subsequently retain their Premier League status, he was joining a number of former Leeds players among their ranks. Becchio spoke of the move being the right one for himself and his family, and wanting to tie down a first team place as quickly as possible. Oh, if only he knew what was to come.
Fast forward 14 months and I've only just remembered Norwich signed him at all. Becchio has made an underwhelming 12 Premier League appearances, starting just two. Even cup appearances have been limited to coming off the bench. You begin to think that the manager is only trying to keep him quiet, after the striker made it clear he was unhappy with his lack of chances back in November.
For a player who contributed 50 goals between 2010 and January 2013 to not be figuring for a team that has the second lowest goal tally in the top division – something is not quite right.
Free Luciano Becchio. #ncfc have treated him terrible since he joined. He must be better than that cart house rvw— DS34 #34 (@SweepTheo) March 8, 2014
BMD: "I made an enquiry to Chris Hughton regarding Luciano Becchio and he wasn't available. Will it change? Who knows? Things do." #lufc— Leeds United FC (@LUFC) September 30, 2013
There were many rumours of possible moves for Becchio during the summer and the more recent transfer window, but it would appear that like an ex-girlfriend, Chris Hughton doesn't really want him at the same time as not wanting anyone else to have him. It's a shame to see a talent like this wasted, a goalscorer who proved himself in League One and the Championship but hasn't been handed a real opportunity at Norwich to do the same at the highest level.
The strikers at Norwich City since gaining promotion back in 2011, with the exception of perhaps Grant Holt, have left a lot to be desired. Johan Elmander has scored just twice for Norwich, both in the cup against League Two opposition. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, who has had his injury problems, hasn't managed a goal since opening day though has shown glimpses of what he can do. You have to wonder if Hughton will ever give Becchio a chance, or instead signed him as some kind of cruel practical joke. Without the five goals Gary Hooper has contributed in the league this season it's not too much to say City could be in the relegation places. As it is they're not far off.
Regarded highly not just by his former club but by most that have seen him play, you have to wonder how much longer Becchio will remain at Carrow Road if the situation continues as it is. There will come a stage in the season (if it hasn't come already) when Norwich's lack of goals will come back to haunt them, and fans of the club will certainly hold it against the manager if he doesn't give this talent a fair chance. There's not long left to go in the season and having turned 30 in December, Becchio will probably want out of east Anglia if circumstances don't turn in his favour before the summer.