Craig Bellamy is a Norwich City legend. I’m not sure if this view is shared amongst all Canary fans, but we haven’t had many players like him come through the academy, so he will always go down as one of my favourite players.
A lot of people forget that he started his career at Carrow Road and I guess how far he has gone since leaving goes someway to explaining that. As recently as last season he was rightly described as one of the best attacking players in the Premier League, after all.
After today’s revelations though, the 31-year-old is now a little closer to life as a Norwich City player. He has signed for fellow Championship side Cardiff City on a season-long loan deal from Manchester City in one of the most surprising transfers for many years.
There are three main factors behind the move though, which, ones you put them together leaves the whole scenario making a great deal of sense.
1. Manchester City didn’t want to sell to any Champions League rivals.
2. Manchester City are still paying his wages.
3. Bellamy supports Cardiff City and wants to be with his family.
You can’t really dispute any of these points in an argument against Bellamy making the move. It is Manchester City’s prerogative not to sell to Premier League rivals and if that means still paying Bellamy’s wages – so be it. It’s not as if they can’t afford it.
Then, on the third point, you can’t deny Bellamy the right to play for his hometown club. He says he is pleased to be doing so while in the better years of his career. He didn’t want to turn out for Cardiff when his best days were behind him.
There is a subplot too – Welsh football. Bellamy is passionate about his country and as captain of Wales will want the best for the national team. Would having Cardiff in the Premier League benefit football in Wales? Undoubtedly and Bellamy will do all he can to help.
It has to be said that as long as he stays fit, Cardiff are now front-runners for promotion. One player doesn’t make a team, but the lift this signing will give the place will be unprecedented.
It could be similar to when Darren Huckerby came to Norwich in 2004. He was the shining light in our Championship winning team and it seems almost certain that Bellamy will be exactly that for Cardiff.
Paul Lambert and Norwich travel to Cardiff at the end of October and although it doesn’t bear thinking about Bellamy running at the likes of Russell Martin and Michael Nelson, I wish him all the best.
Perhaps a slight hamstring injury ruling him out of the game amongst an otherwise productive season wouldn’t be the worst thing. I would like to see him at Carrow Road in January though as I for one will enjoy giving him a warm round of applause.