Steven Naismith has rejoined Hearts on loan for the 2018/19 season both Hearts and Norwich City have announced.
Steven Naismith has rejoined Hearts on loan. #ncfc
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) July 6, 2018
This is the beginning of the end of a very expensive chapter in the Canaries’ history and it raises a lot of “what if ?” type questions.
Naismith joined Norwich in January 2016 for a reported fee of £8.5m and with wages to match. He joined along with Timm Klose as part of the club’s efforts to avoid relegation.
His debut was a terrific personal performance in the crazy 4-5 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Carrow Road but that was basically as good as it got.
He ended up making 48 appearances for Norwich, scoring 6 goals and spent the second half of last season on loan at Hearts.
I don’t mind admitting that I was excited at this signing, a proven Premier League attacking midfielder with goals in him. Yes, he was knocking on a bit but he was, to my mind, the right player at the right time.
I’ve written before that transfers (at any level) are not an exact science and this is one that didn’t deliver for the buying club.
After relegation, Naismith became something of a millstone around the club’s neck on a rumoured £40-50k per week. Hence the desire to move him on. If he was any good, we’d be keeping him, like we have done with Klose.
The talk is that Hearts are paying around 30% of his wages with City paying the majority of what remains and Naismith forgoing a percentage as well, to make the deal happen.
Whatever the mechanics of the deal, you can be sure that it’s still not great for Norwich. With just one year left on his City contract, this will probably be the last we see of Steven, unless he gets injured.
We never saw the best of Steven Naismith. For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out and that is a huge shame. I don’t know any fan that was against the signing at the time, with it seemingly being universally welcomed among the Canary Nation.
What could’ve been, eh?