Wes Hoolahan part of Hughton’s plans ‘at this particular moment’

Norwich manager says Irish playmaker as important to him ‘as every other player in squad’

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton intends to keep Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road.

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton intends to keep Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road.

 

Wes Hoolahan remains very much an important part of the Norwich squad, according to manager Chris Hughton.

The Irish playmaker has been linked with a move away from Carrow Road during the January, with reports of a €1 million bid by Aston Villa, managed by former Canaries boss Paul Lambert.

Norwich chief executive David McNally issued a statement on Thursday to clarify there had been no formal transfer request from any player, with the Norfolk club looking to strengthen in a bid to climb the Premier League table.

Hughton took charge from Lambert in the summer of 2012, and sanctioned a new deal for Hoolahan, who had helped spearhead Norwich’s drive up from League One under the Scot.

And the Canaries manager has stressed the 31-year-old remains in his plans, having deployed him in his favoured role in behind lead frontman Gary Hooper in recent Premier League matches.

“Wes is a player who is first and foremost under contract. Apart from the recent FA Cup tie, he had played in the last two Premier League games,” said Hughton.

“He is as important as every other player in this squad.

“What we are trying to achieve here is to be as good a team as we can in the best league position we can, for that to be the case, we want to have as strong a squad as we can.

“At this particular moment, Wes is very much a part of the squad.”

Hughton added: “The chief executive made the statement because of possibly questions from our own supporters and the fact of what had been mentioned about transfer requests.

“It was something the club felt strongly about doing.”

Norwich’s England goalkeeper John Ruddy hopes Hoolahan will stay on at the club.

“I think Wes is a superb player. I have got a lot of time for Wes, I think he is a fantastic little man,” said Ruddy.

“There is only one Wes Hoolahan, he is brilliant to have around the place as well, so I am desperate for him to stay here, and I am sure everyone else in that dressing room is as well.”

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