Frank Nouble hopes to prove Drogba, Rodgers, Zola and co right at Ipswich Town
07:00 11 January 2013
DIDIER Drogba, Gianfranco Zola, Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Di Matteo all saw something in him – now Mick McCarthy is hoping he can finally be the man to get the best out of striker Frank Nouble.
Ipswich Town have become the eleventh club of the 21-year-old’s career, with the striker having played at Premier League, Championship and League One level thanks to a number of quickfire permanent and loan moves.
But while his stop-start career may have raised a few eyebrows among Blues fans when he made the switch from Wolves earlier this week, both Nouble and McCarthy believe he can finally fulfil his potential at Portman Road.
“I never planned on having this many clubs so early,” said the 6ft 3in tall Londoner, whose roll call of clubs includes Chelsea, West Ham, Swindon, Swansea, Barnsley, Charlton, Gillingham and Wolves.
“Chelsea wanted to keep me at the age of 16, but I left because I wanted to play games for West Ham. The loans were then just down to my eagerness to want to play football, really.
“The fact that people were wanting to take me all the time hopefully shows I’ve got something to offer.
“Gianfranco Zola signed me, so did Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Di Matteo. These are all managers who have obviously seen something.
“When I was 14/15, I used to stay over at Drogba’s house because he was from the same country as my parents, Ivory Coast. I’ve been at clubs with some top-class strikers and they’ve always told me, all those players – Drogba, Carlton Cole – that I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t achieve the potential I’ve shown.
“In my own head I feel I’ve got a lot to give, but I know it’s also down to me to prove it.
“The main thing for me is that I’ve now got people around me who I know will encourage me. I’m just praying it will start to happen for me.
“Whether it be in training, coming on for five minutes, or starting – I’m desperate to take my chances when they come along.”
Blues boss Mick McCarthy – whose assistant Terry Connor signed Nouble for Wolves – said: “We think he has got a lot of potential.
“He is still developing and, given the right environment, encouragement and support, we can get a player out of him – I’m certain.
“Clubs have seen this big, powerful kid and taken him on loan.
“They take a chance on him, he doesn’t do it and they don’t work with him – and no one has really explained to him why.
“I know TC worked with him at Wolves and he saw a whole load of improvement in him. There is such a willing lad in there. For the deal we have done (18-month permanent contract), it is such a good deal for us to take him.
“We’ll get the best out of him, no question.”