Norwich have announced the signing of Steven Naismith from Everton. The Scotland forward has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Canaries for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in the region of £8.5 million.
Naismith had been tracked by Norwich in the summer, but the two clubs were unable to broker a deal.
During September, the Scottish marksman netted a hat-trick in Everton’s 3-1 Premier League win over Chelsea at Goodison Park, but has seen his opportunities to play regular football limited, as well as overcoming a recent ankle injury.
Naismith has made a total of 13 appearances for the Toffees this season, also scoring in the Capital One Cup win at Barnsley.
“Where I was in my career, the age I am and the way the first half of the season has gone for me, I had to think a lot about the future,” Naismith said on www.canaries.co.uk.
“When January came, it was a case of knowing exactly where I stood and the manager at Everton was good and said that he’d listen to whatever I wanted.
“Norwich have displayed class in the way they’ve done their business all the way through. They’ve been fantastic in the sense of showing how much they wanted me, and I’m delighted to be here.”
The 29-year-old is determined to make the most of his opportunity at Carrow Road, and could make his debut in the home game against Liverpool on Saturday.
“I want to settle in quickly, get involved and play my part in games. I want to contribute to a team effort to move this club forward,” he added. “I am expecting to go straight into the training. The manager will obviously have his thoughts for the [Liverpool] game and hopefully I’m involved in some respect. I have played a couple of times here and it’s always a great atmosphere with a full crowd, and I look forward to being on the right side of the fans.”
Naismith started his career at Kilmarnock before moving to Rangers in August 2007, where he would win the Scottish Premier League title three times. After leaving Scotland in the summer of 2012, Naismith went on to make 123 appearances for the Toffees, scoring a total of 25 goals.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez was sorry to be losing the services of a “true professional”.
“Steven is a professional who needs to play and he feels at this moment in his career that he needs to be playing games and that’s very respected from my point of view,” said Martinez. “We got a really good value out of a very good servant, he is leaving terrific memories and we wish him the very best in the future and in this new chapter of his career.”
Canaries boss Alex Neil hopes Naismith can add a cutting edge to his team, which lost 3-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday. “He is a proven performer at Premier League level and an established international with Scotland so arrives with excellent pedigree,” said Neil.
Norwich have been proactive in the January window, bolstering their squad for the survival battle ahead by bringing in Swiss defender Timm Klose from Wolfsburg, Portuguese full-back Ivo Pinto from Dinamo Zagreb and York teenager Ben Godfrey, while winger Matt Jarvis has turned his loan switch from West Ham into a permanent deal.
Norwich sold forward Lewis Grabban back to Bournemouth earlier this month, while it remains to be seen whether moves away for former Celtic striker Gary Hooper or ex-Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty will be sanctioned before the deadline.