Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chop's away

Nice to know that, as of next season, there'll be at least one other Geordie exiled here in the Welsh capital - Michael Chopra has signed for Cardiff City.

Chopra's current deal was due to expire at the end of the month, and according to Cardiff chairman Sam Hamann we "wanted him to stay and offered a new contract". However, as we suggested last week, the lure of regular first team football, albeit at a lower level, has proved irresistible.

He's signed for £500,000 - not a transfer fee but a compensation fee for a 22-year-old to the club who brought him through the ranks - and passed a medical, though the BBC report that "one small detail has to be sorted with Newcastle".

The South Wales Echo carries more quotes from Hamann: "We have had to fight off seven other clubs to sign Chopra. We feel the guy has a serious chance of being a goal machine for us. He still has to prove himself in the Coca-Cola Championship, but he is a quality player. And what I loved most was that he was so keen to sign for Cardiff".

Chopra will be stepping into the sizeable boots of Cameron Jerome, who after a brilliant season has left for Birmingham for £3m. He leaves us having never really fulfilled his early potential (though his opportunities were limited), but he'll always be fondly remembered on Tyneside for the instant impact he had when he appeared as a sub in the derby match in April, a game which we eventually won 4-1 and which marked the end of Shearer's career.

Best of luck, Chops.


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