With Steven Naismith set to undergo a medical at Norwich City after agreeing an £8.5 million deal with Everton, I believe it could turn out to be great for all parties.
Obviously for the 29-year-old, he'll get to play regular Premier League football again, having only started on four occasions this season. Everton get a huge profit on a player they signed for nothing from Rangers in 2012, giving them funds to sign Sam Byram and possibly Andriy Yarmolenko. But what about Norwich - is Naismith the signing that will drag them away from relegation danger?
This weekend's results went poorly for the Canaries, losing 3-0 at fellow strugglers Bournemouth whilst Newcastle picked up a vital win over West Ham. Having sold Lewis Grabban to the Cherries, manager Alex Neil has only five goals between his remaining strikers.
Although £8.5 million seems excessive, it's a drop in the ocean if it guarantees Norwich a place in next season's TV-money-bonanza-league. Roberto Martinez's pressing style suited Naismith, who was moved back into midfield due to his tenacious defensive work. Never afraid to make a tackle, this occasionally backfires through conceding silly fouls. He's industrious, defends from the front and has a great work-rate.
My only concern is that Norwich already have this in abundance - it's quality that they lack. Is Naismith really the answer? Perhaps moving back to his initial role up front will get the Scotland international back amongst the goals. Scoring a 'perfect' hat-trick against Chelsea in September shows he definitely knows where the goal is, but he's only scored on one other occasion this season.
25 goals in 123 Everton appearances doesn't stand out, but a lot of these games were either as a substitute or playing deeper. Naismith doesn't inspire supporters but he's also not a risky import who has to adapt to English football. With a nasty run of fixtures on the horizon, he will have to provide both the graft and clinical finishing that ensures survival.
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Who is happier with this deal, Everton or Norwich fans? Let us know with a comment below.
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