Norwich City going 'to the next level', says Iwan Roberts

Former Norwich City striker Iwan Roberts has said the club are showing the ambition to become a mainstay of the Premier League.

The Canaries have spent an estimated £25m on recruitment this summer.

"Nobody has ever seen this type of money spent in the club," Roberts told BBC Sport.

"I think it's gone to the next level. I'm not saying they will be competing with the top five or six, but I think seven down to 10."

Canaries' summer signings

Nathan Redmond
  • Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon
  • Martin Olsson from Blackburn
  • Javier Garrido from Lazio
  • Carlo Nash on a free
  • Nathan Redmond (pictured) from Birmingham City
  • Leroy Fer from FC Twente
  • Gary Hooper from Celtic
  • Johan Elmander from Galatasaray

Among the new arrivals were record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon, fellow Netherlands international Leroy Fer from FC Twente and Celtic's top scorer Gary Hooper.

The spending comes after the Carrow Road side, who finished 11th last season, announced they will become externally debt free,  with joint-majority shareholder Delia Smith the only creditor to the club.

"The club's debt free so they're in a position to go out and compete with getting players who are £10m-plus and pay high wages," said Roberts, who is Norwich's third-highest all-time goal scorer, finding the net 97 times between 1997 and 2004.

"If they don't, and I think [manager] Chris Hughton and David McNally [chief executive] know this, they'll get left behind.

"People expect now for Norwich to be in the top half. But Chris would rather have those types of problems and that type of pressure rather than the pressure he had last year.

"I don't think bottom half will be spoken about. They won't get carried away but with the firepower that's come in they should finish higher than 11th and I think Chris will be saying that quietly in the dressing room."

Former Bolton striker Johan Elmander became Hughton's third forward signing of the transfer window when he joined on a season-long loan from Galatasaray this week.

Van Wolfswinkel got off the mark on his debut in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Everton, but Roberts has warned that new strikers alone will not solve City's goal scoring problems of last season, when they had the third-lowest tally in the Premier League.

"There was a lack of creativity last year. They're not the types of strikers who can create goals for themselves, they need crosses and service, like all strikers," he said.

"They've brought in a fantastic young prospect in Nathan Redmond and bought big Leroy Fer and he can pick a pass. If they provide the right service they'll score goals."