Wrexham Target League One Talisman

Newly promoted Wrexham are interested in making a move to sign Barnsley striker James Norwood, according to journalist Alan Nixon via a post on his Patreon.

The 32-year-old forward, who hit 11 goals in 49 total appearances for the Tykes last season, is of interest to Phil Parkinson’s side and could leave Oakwell if the League Two newcomers can strike a deal with their League One counterparts.

What’s been said?

Via a post on his Patreon, Alan Nixon has stated:

“Barnsley striker James Norwood is wanted by ambitious Wrexham for their second straight promotion push.

“Norwood could leave Oakwell if the clubs can sort out a deal and team up with prolific Paul Mullin in Wales.

“Barnsley may be able to let Norwood leave. He signed for one season with an option and they now have a new manager and fresh signings.”

Who is James Norwood?

The striker from Eastbourne spent his youth at Brighton and Crystal Palace, before making his senior debut with his hometown club, Eastbourne Town, where he hit eight goals in 16 appearances before making the switch to Exeter City after a successful trial with the club in 2009. He then went on to make his professional debut at Elland Road as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat in League One.

Norwood was then sent out on loan by Paul Tisdale, learning his trade throughout the non-league pyramid with Sutton United, Forest Green Rovers and Eastbourne Borough.

Following the expiry of his contract at St. James Park, Norwood returned to his former loan club Forest Green Rovers in the National League, signing an initial two-year deal with the Gloucestershire club, where the frontman scored 52 goals in 177 appearances. Norwood also achieved the Player’s Player of the Year award following an impressive 2012-13 campaign, which also saw the striker receive a call-up for the England C squad for an international against Bermuda.

Hitting double figures in each season for The Rovers, Norwood became the club’s all-time leading Conference goalscorer in a season where Forest Green finished in the play-off spots for the first time in their history, before being knocked out by Bristol Rovers in the semi-finals. His departure from the club was confirmed the day after the defeat.

In 2015, Norwood signed a two-year deal with newly relegated National League side Tranmere Rovers, scoring 92 goals in 190 appearances while guiding the club from the National League to League One in back-to-back promotions, scoring the winning goal at Wembley against Boreham Wood to see the club back into the EFL. Norwood also won the League Two golden boot as well as League Two Player of the Year the following season as Micky Mellon’s side made it back-to-back promotions, defeating Newport County at Wembley.

Norwood joined Ipswich Town the following season, finishing as the club’s top scorer two seasons in a row, before finding appearances at Portman Road limited in the 2021-22 season, still scoring six goals despite only making 12 starts for the Tractor Boys.

After the expiration of his contract in Suffolk, the frontman moved further North, signing for Michael Duff’s Barnsley, registering 11 goals in 49 appearances for the Tykes, with the forward being a key asset to a side that lost out on promotion at the death to Sheffield Wednesday.

A fearful frontline…

Last season, Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer fired Phil Parkinson’s side to the National League title, breaking the point record in the process, tallying 111 with the two frontmen registering 54 goals between themselves.

The Red Dragons are going into the fourth tier as heavy favourites amongst many and with the potential prospect of Paul Mullin, Ollie Palmer and James Norwood as their striking options, it is easy to understand why.

Writer’s View

Norwood is a tireless runner and a ruthless finisher, with a wide variety of goals in his locker. With ability well above the fourth division, this would be a statement signing for the North Wales outfit that would add more quality to an already impressive side.

It will be interesting to see whether Norwood still holds a place at Oakwell following a change in manager after Michael Duff’s departure for Swansea City, a case for the forward choosing either club can be made.

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