‘The grass isn’t always greener’ is a saying that applies itself beautifully to the world of football and – more specifically – football transfers, with there having been many a tale of players inexplicably pushing for a move, only to see it blow up in their face.
No disrespect intended to the Canaries, who have shown great resilience over the years to keep bouncing back from top-flight relegation, although such a transfer appears something of a headscratcher, even with the Carrow Road outfit offering the glamour of the Premier League at the time of the move in 2013.
In his own words, the Harlow-born striker admitted that he had agreed to the £5m move in order to try and boost his chances of earning international recognition with England, believing that there was a “good chance” he could catch the eye of the Three Lions.
As it proved, no call up came to fruition as he went on to score just six Premier League goals during his debut season for the club, with that tally doing little to prevent Chris Hughton’s side from tumbling out of the division.
He would go on to score 12 goals the following season in the second tier, before eventually moving on to Sheffield Wednesday, with that 2013/14 campaign proving to be his only stint at the elite level of English football – aside from two brief appearances in 2015/16.
On reflection, the player himself would likely admit to his error at leaving behind the good work he had started back in Glasgow, where he had plundered 82 goals and provided 30 assists in just 138 games, having joined the club on a £2.4m deal from Scunthorpe in 2010.
That prolific three-year stint at Celtic Park included a particularly lethal 2012/13 season in which he scored 31 goals in all competitions, including four Champions League goals.
Such form saw him dubbed “world-class” on one occasion by manager Lennon, while the Northern Irishman also labelled him the club’s “best striker” since Henrik Larsson, following the completion of his move to England.
Now 34, those heady days appear a long way off, with the forward currently plying his trade for A-League side Wellington Phoenix, having also spent time out in India with Kerala Blasters.
While Celtic managed to double their money with his sale – and continue to win silverware – it all simply went downhill from the player’s perspective.