Transfers: Could Norwich City Target Marcus Berg Cut It in the EPL?

Andy Ward@@Wardy1710Contributor IIJanuary 15, 2013

SUWON, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 22:  Marcus Berg of Hamburger celebrates his goal against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma during the Peace Cup final match between Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Hamburger SV at Suwon World Cup Stadium on July 22, 2012 in Suwon, South Korea.  (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

Just a few years ago it looked as though Marcus Berg had the world at his feet.

The striker was one of the hottest properties in world football after his brilliant displays in the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championships which saw him claim the Golden Boot and wow onlookers.

His tally of seven goals set him head and shoulders above his nearest competitors for the crown, and no sooner had the competition ended was Berg on his way to the Bundesliga to join Hamburg SV in a deal worth in excess of €9 million.

The German giants fought off strong interest from elsewhere to secure his signature, with Everton known admirers at the time according to The Daily Mail as the players' stock continued to grow. 

However, that's as good as it got for Berg, who has seen his reputation plummet after failing to make any sort of impact in new surroundings, with a return of just five goals in over 50 league appearances not exactly what was expected when the Swedish hit-man arrived at the Imtech Arena.

Now, it seems that Hamburg have finally lost patience with the forward after Frank Arnesen implied that Berg would be one of five players to leave the Club in January in order to balance the books (via

Alluding to a report in The Times, the BBC gossip column has suggested that Norwich City could be prepared to end Berg's German nightmare by bringing him to the Premier League and trying to ignite his career once more as they search for much-needed fire-power.

But could Berg make an impression in such a competitive league?

There's no getting away from the fact that his goal record in Germany's top flight has been nothing short of woeful, but at the age of 26 Berg still has time on his side to turn things around and get back on track.

Perhaps the pressure of such a considerable price-tag has been somewhat of a weight on the former Groningen man's shoulders and a change of scenery could well make all the difference due to the rut he is currently in.

When players are struggling to perform at a club, often the best thing to do is to shake hands and agree that it hasn't worked out as planned and a switch to Carrow Road would result in a clean slate for both Berg and his current employers.

If the Canaries could get Berg back to his very best it could prove to be an inspired piece of business because the Swede has all of the attributes to be a success in England.

Standing at over 6 feet tall and able to finish with both feet, Berg is capable of scoring goals if given the service, as he proved by netting 32 goals in 56 games for FC Groningen in the Eredivisie.

It just seems that the confidence coursing through his veins during that glorious summer at the European Under-21 Championships in particular has simply deserted him and you would like to think that Berg would be chomping at the bit to disprove the critics who believe that such form was just a flash in the pan.

Of course, Norwich City do not have endless supplies of money to squander, so there would be a large element of risk in bringing the striker to the club considering his lack of recent form, but they will never know if Berg is good enough until he is given the opportunity. 

The possibility of an initial loan spell which could result in a permanent transfer at the end of the season is an approach that could be a sensible option because it would give Berg a chance to prove that he can perform on such an illustrious stage.

His pace and physical attributes certainly suggest that he would fit well into Chris Hughton's preferred 4-2-3-1 system, with the Norwich boss looking for a striker able to lead the line on his own.

City have been linked with a whole host of names since the transfer window opened with centre-forwards being a common theme, and even Hughton has admitted that his side haven't scored enough goals this year (The Guardian). 

Whether Berg could be the answer remains to be seen, but if the gamble comes off it could just be one of the best transfers this January.


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