Norwich City's best and worst signings of the Premier League era

Norwich's Jonny Howson celebrates scoring their first goal with Wes Hoolahan

With the transfer window in full swing, HITC Sport takes a look at some of the best and the worst Norwich City signings.

Over the years, we've seen many spectacular and strange signings in the transfer window. Moves that have amazed and mystified fans and journalists alike, along with the occasional "hidden gem" or the odd "flop". Norwich City are one club who have been subject to all of the above over the years, and so, HITC Sport has decided to take a look at some of the best and the worst of the Canaries's transfer business.

Norwich manager Alex NeilNorwich manager Alex Neil

The Best

Joining the side in 2010 after spending what must have seemed like a lifetime on loan, John Ruddy has been one of the best players to join Norwich City over the last decade. Making well over 200 appearances for Norwich during his six years with the club, Ruddy was one of the highlights of the Canaries's last two spells in the Premier League, and is currently playing a big part in their battle to get back their top flight status. Reliable and a huge voice between the sticks, John Ruddy has been a vital player at Carrow Road. 

Norwich's John RuddyNorwich's John Ruddy

After gaining a number of plaudits during his time at Blackpool, Wes Hoolahan found himself moving to Carrow Road in 2008. Cementing himself in the side as a versatile attacking midfielder, Hoolahan helped guide Norwich to successive promotions under Paul Lambert, and played a vital role in both their most recent spells in the Premier League. Now with over 300 appearances under his belt, Wes Hoolahan has proven himself to be one of the most committed and consistently high-performing Norwich players of the last decade, and is showing no signs of slowing down just yet. 

Norwich's Wes Hoolahan in action with Leeds' Kalvin Phillips and Charlie TaylorNorwich's Wes Hoolahan in action

The signing of Dean Ashton back in 2005 was a real coup for Norwich City, as the Canaries managed to fend off a lot of competition to capture the talented England youngster. Signing for a then record fee of £3 million (according to the BBC), Ashton’s move to Carrow Road signalled real intent from the Norwich hierarchy and their faith was well placed as he notched eighteen goals in his first two seasons. More impressive was his show of loyalty to Norwich, rejecting the approaches of Premier League clubs in order to try and help the Canaries win promotion. Eventually leaving for West Ham, Dean Ashton proved to be an excellent signing for Norwich City.

Dean Ashton - EnglandDean Ashton - England

The Worst

Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s arrival at Carrow Road represented a huge change in the Canaries's transfer policy, with the Dutch international signing from Sporting Lisbon for a massive £8.5 million, according to the BBC. Bringing with him both Champions League experience, as well as bags of goals to his name, Norwich fans had high hopes for van Wolfswinkel, but were left severely disappointing. After just two goals in 26 appearances, van Wolfswinkel found himself being shipped out to Saint Etienne, bringing to an end what had been a sorry spell in English football.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel of Norwich City celebrates after the gameRicky Van Wolfswinkel of Norwich City celebrates after the game

Kyle Lafferty was given a lifeline by Norwich City in 2014, as the Canaries turned to the Northern Irishman as the man who could propel them back into the Premier League. With 16 goals in his previous 60 appearances for FC Sion in the Swiss Superliga and Palermo in Italy’s Serie B, this was perhaps a little optimistic, but perhaps a return to English football would be just what the striker needed? Unfortunately not. After failing to score until January, Lafferty was eventually loaned out to Turkish outfit Caykur Rizespor.

Norwich's Kyle Lafferty celebrates scoring their second goalNorwich's Kyle Lafferty

After winning plenty of plaudits during his time at Barnsley, Jacob Butterfield joined Norwich in 2012. Though the youngster had struggled with injuries, his talent during his time with the Tykes was there for all to see, and Norwich fans were excited to see what the central midfielder could do. However, after spending two seasons with Norwich, Butterfield managed just two appearances, both of which came in the early round of the League Cup. He was eventually sent out on loan to Bolton and Crystal Palace, before Middlesbrough stepped in with a permanent transfer to end his Carrow Road nightmare. Butterfield is now playing his trade at Derby County, and was recently sent off in their fixture with Norwich City at the beginning of 2017. 

Derby's Jacob Butterfield in action with Liverpool's Philippe CoutinhoDerby's Jacob Butterfield in action with Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

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