Mignolet happy to compete
Ricky van Wolfswinkel is in no doubt he can plunder plenty of
goals for Norwich City and is not fazed by his hefty price-tag.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton has signed the 24-year-old
Netherlands international striker for a reported
Â£8.5million from Sporting Lisbon.
Hughton believes the signing of Van Wolfswinkel could be “the
one that turns some of our draws into wins”.
Norwich were short on firepower last season, with the team
averaging just over a goal a game in the Premier League.
Van Wolfswinkel weighed in with 14 strikes for Sporting – the
fourth highest of any player in Portugal’s Primeira Liga – and
notched three in their Europa League campaign.
His transfer fee is almost three times the amount Norwich paid
Crewe Alexandra to sign Dean Ashton over eight years ago, but Van
Wolfswinkel is not feeling any additional pressure.
“It shows me Norwich have a lot of confidence in me,” he said in
the Daily Star Sunday. “If anything, I see it more as a
“I’m confident of scoring goals. That’s part and parcel of my
job, but the most important thing for me is I am a team
Huth has been a regular in the Potters’ back four since joining
them from Middlesbrough in 2009, but he faces increased competition
for a starting spot next season under new boss Mark Hughes.
Although primarily a left-back, Pieters can play as a
centre-back, while Muniesa has stated his preference to play in the
centre of defence.
Huth told the club’s official website: “It’s always good to have
someone to hopefully improve your game.
“Game on – everyone’s place is up for grabs. All the positions
that were occupied last season are there to be taken with a new
manager. I’ve got to keep my head together and stay fit and see
“I’ve seen both Erik and Marc play on TV and I’m looking forward
to meeting them on Monday when we report back.”
Huth is raring to go as he prepares to return to training after
doing some additional fitness work over the summer.
The 28-year-old Germany international added: “I like to do a bit
of hard work before we report back, so next week when we do start
officially I won’t get the aches and pains that I normally get.
“I personally look forward to pre-season. It’s a chance to get
away with the lads, we are going to the United States for almost
two weeks and to France as well I think. It will be hard work, but
it’s something to enjoy as well.”
Jol has already brought in Venezuela centre-back Fernando
Amorebieta, Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng and Holland goalkeeper
Maarten Stekelenburg on free transfers so far this summer.
The Cottagers boss has been heavily linked with moves for
Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone and is expected to seal a
swoop soon for Wolves winger Bakary Sako, with talks already
confirmed by the League One club.
In addition, Jol could bring Cameroon international Eyong Enoh
back to west London after the defensive midfielder impressed on
loan from Ajax in the second half of last season.
Jol said: “We were quite early getting Amorebieta and the others
– we are very happy to have them on board. It’s always nice to
integrate them, and take the new players away with us.
“We are still working on one or two – we want them going with us
as well. There will be one or two coming back, because we had a few
loan players. I’ll try to get them in now, because 14 players are
left and we’re still working on five or six players to come to this
“Three are already here so that was good, because most of the
time you do your business late. This was quite early, so that was a
Fulham will play three pre-season friendlies against Costa Rican
Primera Division clubs at the Estadio Nacional in the capital of
Next Sunday, they meet last season’s Verano championship
runners-up Cartagines, followed by a midweek clash against Bryan
Ruiz’s former club Alajuelense who were Invierno champions in
The tour concludes with Fulham taking on the most successful
club in Costa Rican football history, Deportivo Saprissa, on
Saturday 20 July.
The Belgium international joined from Sunderland last month and
is not afraid of the battle for the number one jersey.
“That’s always what has happened when there’s competition,”
Mignolet said. “I’ve had competition in Sunderland and in Belgium
with the national team.
“It’s not only Pepe – there’s a lot of good goalies at
Liverpool, like Brad Jones for example – and it’s not only the
position of the goalie where there is competition. It’s every
single position on the field.
“There are only 11 players who can play and it is something that
is normal with being a football player. You have to deal with that.
Competition can only make you as an individual better and let you
perform better. It can only be a positive thing.
“From the talks I had with the manager and the goalkeeping coach
I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get
“The signings they’d already done before July showed they really
wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier
League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big
“I know how big a club this is but I think I’m only going to
feel it once the games get going. The first few training sessions
went okay. I’m very happy to be here and train.”