New arrival Morison targets swift return to Premier League with Leeds United

Steve Morison
Steve Morison
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NEW Leeds United striker Steve Morison has his sights on a return ticket to the Premier League following his switch from Norwich City.

The 29-year-old Wales international arrived at Elland Road in a swap deal which saw Whites’ top-scorer Luciano Becchio head in the opposite direction – with Morison penning a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Leeds are also understood to have received a payment of around £200,000 as part of the deal.

A difficult month of progress on the transfer front ended in a hive of activity at United, with boss Neil Warnock also bringing in Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Completing a hectic day, United completed a deal to sign forward Mouhamadou Habib Habidou from Belgian outfit SV Zulte Waregem on loan for the rest of the season, subject to international clearance, with a view to a permanent deal – just 90 minutes before the 11pm deadline.

On joining United, Morison – who will miss tomorrow’s game with Cardiff City due to a slight thigh injury – said: “The goal is to get to the Premier League and I would not have gone to a club that I did not think could fulfil that. Of course there is pressure on, and the gaffer wants to win promotion, but I think I am very grounded, and I want to be back playing in the Premier League.

“I have come here to play football and score goals. Fingers crossed, I can replicate my form from last season. The Championship is a tough league and there are a lot of tough defenders.”

Admitting he jumped at the chance to head north after a frustrating campaign at Norwich, where he has largely been used from the bench, he added: “I got a phone call to say Norwich had agreed a swap for me and Luciano, and it did not take long to make my mind up.

“I am pretty happy. There were lots of rumours going around, but I have been out injured and was concentrating on getting fit. This has all happened quickly in the end, but when Leeds come in for you and you see the place, it is a no-brainer.

“I have played at Leeds a few times. I even managed to score on one of those occasions and it is a fantastic place to be with all the history.

“The fans are going to want to see goals and that’s what I am hoping to give them. Hopefully, I can use my unpredictability to my advantage.

“I’ve spent a lot of time watching football this year and hopefully I can take my frustration out on the pitch soon.”

Warnock, who has joined United on a free, admits the persistence of United in their pursuit of him and the fact they made him feel so wanted was instrumental in his decision to head north.

Warnock, 31, said: “Leeds offered me a contract and at first, it was a shorter-term contract, but I was on my way to West Ham earlier in the week and Leeds came back in and really made me feel wanted.

“There were a couple of other clubs interested, but when you see the size of Leeds and the magnitude of the club, there is only one choice and once I had spoken to the manager, I knew I wanted to come.

“Obviously, I have not been playing at Villa and when you have a manager who wants you to play and has confidence in you, it is nice to hear.

“I have not come here to be a Championship player and I am sure Steve is the same.”

Becchio has joined Chris Hughton’s Norwich on a three-and-a-half year deal and his arrival in Norfolk takes the ex-Leeds contingent at Carrow Road to four – with Robert Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson and Jonathan Howson already at the club.

On switching to the Canaries, Becchio – the subject of failed recent bids from clubs in both Turkey and China – said: “I spoke to Robert and Jonny about Norwich and they both had really good things to say about the club and the city.

“I am really happy about having the chance to play in the Premier League, it is brilliant for me personally and for my career,” he added.