Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were among only five players to score more goals in Euro 2016 Qualifying than Kyle Lafferty.
The striker has become a massive part of the Northern Ireland side and was their main man as they qualified for their first ever European Championships. Despite his brilliant form on the international front, though, Lafferty is only a fringe player at best for Norwich City.
Since promotion to the Premier League, Norwich have struggled in almost all departments. They have scored just 29 goals, while only Sunderland have shipped more goals than the 48 that the Canaries have conceded.
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Given the poor form and shocking goal return that Norwich’s strikers have produced, it makes it even more baffling that Lafferty hasn’t been given a chance in the first team yet. Dieumerci Mbokani has scored only four league goals since joining on a season’s long loan from Dynamo Kiev in the summer, while Cameron Jerome has struck just three times.
In January, Norwich splashed out £8 million to bring Steven Naismith to Carrow Road from Everton, but even he isn’t an out-and-out striker. Lafferty hasn’t been given the chance to impress in the Premier League that he deserves, having played only 13 minutes of league football all season.
It seems that manager Alex Neil simply doesn’t trust Lafferty to do the business for him. With Norwich in freefall in the league, losing their last five games in a run that has seen them drop into the relegation zone; you would imagine the Scotsman would be willing to take a chance on Lafferty.
Seeing that Neil blocked a proposed loan move to Leeds United, he must be tempted to give the Northern Irishman an opportunity in the league.
In the past, the 28-year-old has been criticised for his lack of discipline, something which may not help his cause under Neil. However, Norwich have got to the stage where they now have to be scoring goals and winning games to have any chance of staying in the division, and Lafferty could certainly improve that.
Norwich are running out of time to save themselves in the Premier League, and they have nothing to lose by giving Lafferty a chance to make a mark.
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