Lewis Grabban has finally left Carrow Road and gone back to his beloved Bournemouth after their 18 month separation. N’aww, don’t we all love a happy ending? Norwich fans certainly do as Grabban leaves with a substantial £8m fee to soften the “blow.” Not bad for a player that hasn’t even made an appearance in the last six matches and has only played six Premier League games all season. In reality, there will be Norwich fans that would have actually paid Bournemouth to take him off our hands following his now infamous walk-out of the team hotel at Rotherham, having been snubbed a starting place in favour of the dubious Ricky Van Wolfswinkel.
But Norwich fans haven’t always hated Grabban. He was an important part of last season’s successful promotion campaign, scored in both the league meetings against arch-rivals Ipswich Town and managed 12 goals in 36 games. And up until the first game of the season against Crystal Palace, it even looked like he was going into the campaign as Norwich’s first-choice striker. However, he missed a guilt-edge sitter and had a bad day at the office all-round as Norwich lost 3-1 in a game best remembered for Cameron Jerome’s unfairly disallowed goal.
Two successive substitute outings followed against Sunderland and Stoke, only one of which Grabban played in, before that fateful night in Yorkshire. Grabban’s antics showed himself up massively and made him look like a petulant child that was upset when he couldn’t get his own way. He was fined, called a “silly boy” by manager Alex Neil and subsequently apologised publically for his actions. What followed was a torrent of abuse from Norwich fans in the following days and most assumed he would be on his way back to Bournemouth with two bids already having been turned down and the transfer window slamming shut in the next few days. So it was with great surprise when it emerged that he was still a Norwich City player at the end of deadline day.
Since then, he has had a bit-part role this season, being mainly used as a substitute except for Arsenal’s visit to Carrow Road where Neil surprised everyone by naming him in the starting line-up and Grabban paid back his manager’s trust by scoring the equaliser in the only highlight of his sorry season.
All things considered, Norwich have done fantastically well to get £8m for a player that was now third-choice behind Dieumerci Mbokani and Cameron Jerome. The fee Norwich receives will now look to be reinvested in Everton’s Steven Naismith who will cost a similar amount of money and to the majority of Norwich fans it will be seen as a fantastic bit of business by the club. It’s a massive shame that things worked out the way they did for Lewis Grabban because any player that scores match-winning goals against Ipswich is traditionally remembered a legend and unfortunately, Grabban will be thought of a traitor and forever booed by the Norwich faithful.
There is the argument that you should never sell to a relegation rival but for the money that Bournemouth were offering for a player that was unsettled and wouldn’t be enhancing the Norwich team, it only made sense for the Canaries to cash in. As long as the money is reused to bring in a striker that will score 8-10 goals for the rest of the season, then this could well be a key factor as to what keeps us in the division. Furthermore, if Grabban doesn’t hit the ground running and plays the way he did at times in a Norwich shirt, then he could well be the reason that Bournemouth go down themselves, possibly saving Norwich in the process.
Twitter went wild when speculation that Grabban’s move was imminent at around 5pm and only an hour later at 6pm did Norwich confirm it (however, if you follow Kyle Lafferty then you would have been well informed about his departure beforehand).
Here is a selection of some of Twitter’s reactions:
Twitter: Grabban about to be sold for £8m. I have had dreams about this day #ncfc (@DanEmery07)
Twitter: Only time I saw Norwich Twitter happier was after the Play Off Final! #NCFC (@jacobsinky)
Twitter: NCFC have just robbed Bournemouth of £7 million #robbery #grabban (@Pollard027)
Twitter: £16m on a championship striker and a guy who couldn’t get a game for Norwich? WTF! #Afobe #grabban (@gaz11984)
Twitter: General vibe seems to be that is excellent business from #ncfc. My understanding is club have made £4.5m profit on the lad #grabban (@paddyjdavitt)
Twitter: Alot of money for a striker that can’t shoot… #grabban #ncfc #afcb (@mattyhudson90)
Twitter: So glad that’s over with. Thank you for your services last season Grabban, but i’m glad you and your poor attitude are out of Carrow Road. (@SeanGP01)
I believe getting rid of Grabban made perfect sense from a business and personal sense. I only want players that love playing for my club sporting that yellow and green and it was clear that Grabban didn’t. Let him go back to Bournemouth’s open arms and if he flops, it will be Norwich that laughs all the way to the bank.