Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has revealed that the Addicks attempted to bring James Norwood to the Valley in the summer of 2019 but that that Ipswich Town ultimately outbid them for the forward.
The Addicks were fresh from promotion to the Championship in the summer of 2019, while Ipswich had just been relegated back down to League One. Norwood had just fired in an impressive tally of 30 goals in 48 games for Tranmere Rovers to help them earn promotion from League Two and had attracted plenty of interest amongst Championship and League One clubs.
Norwood eventually arrived at Portman Road on a three-year deal and the 30-year-old got off to a flying start to his Ipswich career, before his form ultimately tailed off in the second half of last term and he ended the campaign with 11 league goals on 28 matches. So far this season, the forward has not been an automatic starter for Paul Lambert’s side making five appearances.
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Speaking to the media ahead of Charlton’s clash with Ipswich, Bowyer revealed that Charlton had been wanting to sign Norwood in the summer of 2019, but the Addicks despite their promotion could not compete with the financial resources put on the table by the Tractor Boys.
He said: “They are a good side,” said Bowyer. “Especially up the top end. Norwood is a player we tried to get ourselves last season but he went to Ipswich, they paid double what we offered.
“He is a good striker with good movement, who can finish. They have got variation with Hawkins, who we knew about when he was at Portsmouth. If they want to go that way and be a bit more direct then he is an option.
This revelation highlights just how tough a challenge it was for Bowyer to try and keep Charlton in the Championship last term, with the Addicks not able to compete financially with teams in the league below. Despite that though they did come close to securing survival.
Norwood had demonstrated his potential with an excellent season at Tranmere and it was no surprise to see him attracting interest. The 30-year-old took that confidence into Ipswich and got off to a strong start in front of goal, but since his goals have dried up and he has lost some of that belief in himself that made him so deadly.
Whether Bowyer could have got more out of Norwood in the Championship we will never know, but it does show that the Charlton boss is fully aware of his talents and so it might be a situation to watch out for in future windows if he is made available by Ipswich.