A perfect fit

The Canaries snapped Robert Snodgrass up for GBP3 million in late July and that already looks a bargain following his impressive start to his first season in the top flight of English football. By Jordan Owens.

Leeds fans have only been able to watch on in frustration as Norwich have snapped up their best talent on the cheap and Robert Snodgrass is the latest to have made the move a successful one.

The Canaries snapped Snodgrass up for GBP3 million in late July and that already looks a bargain following his impressive start to his first season in the top flight of English football.

Although Norwich were thrashed 5-0 by Fulham on his debut, he was named as the Man of the Match in their next game against Queens Park Rangers before scoring his first goal for the club with a late equaliser against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Snodgrass is familiar with being a target for big clubs.

He turned down a trial at his boyhood heroes Celtic and instead joined Livingston in the Scottish First Division to ensure more chance of first-team football, while he also rejected a trial at Spanish giants Barcelona as a teenager after starring at the under-20 World Cup.

His talent did not go unnoticed at Livingston and in 2008 then Leeds boss Gary McAllister took him south to Elland Road where he was an instant hit.

He went on to make 191 appearances for the Whites, racking up 41 goals as well as countless assists to help them achieve promotion from English League One in 2010. The tricky winger was also part of the side which knocked fierce rivals Manchester United out of the FA Cup in the third round.

He had little difficulty coping with the step up to the Championship and was a consistent performer for the club over the next two seasons, winning the Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year awards.

Success on the pitch at Elland Road did not prevent problems off it though, and amidst anger amongst fans over how Ken Bates was running the club, Snodgrass was unwilling to sign a new contract as he felt Leeds did not share his Premier League ambition.

That meant 12 months later he would be free to leave on a free transfer and Leeds were left with little option to cash in on their prize as Snodgrass followed former team-mates Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson to Norwich.

Snodgrass said: “The fee got agreed and the professional way Norwich went about their business and pushed so hard to get me made me really want to be part of things here. It was just clear to me if you get the chance to test yourself against the best players it’s a no-brainer.”

Norwich manager Chris Hughton added: “Robert is a natural going forwards, but was also prepared to work back putting in a shift and has good quality on the ball. He is a player I have admired for a number of years now and he’s at a good age at 24, with some excellent experience from his time with Leeds.

“He’s also got that international experience with Scotland and is used to playing in big matches both with his country and at Elland Road. I think he will be a real asset to us.”

United boss Neil Warnock was sad to see Snodgrass leave, stating: “I was hoping he would have had a change of heart and I can honestly say that in all my time in football, I’ve never worked as hard in trying to keep a player.

“He was offered the best contract, the captaincy, and we would have built a team around him so I am very disappointed.”

With the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers now under way, Snodgrass will also be hoping regular first-team football in the EPL will secure him a starting spot in Scotland's national side.

The Scotsman is not married but has a daughter with girlfriend Denise and is believed to own a BMW X6.

FACTFILE NAME: Robert Snodgrass POSITION: Midfielder CLUB: Norwich City DOB: 07/09/87 INTERNATIONAL CAPS: 8

INTERNATIONAL DEBUT: Feb 2011 v Northern Ireland

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Scoring his first international goal for Scotland against Australia.

MOMENT TO FORGET: Norwich losing 5-0 at Fulham on his EPL debut.

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