Rivals wanted Joey

Last updated : 22 January 2007 By Tony Scholes

Gudjonsson left Leicester at the end of last season after two years with the club. It was no surprise, he'd decided to move on and almost joined AZ Alkmaar during the 2006 transfer window after disagreements with previous manager Craig Levein.

Having ended the season with the Foxes he duly signed for the Dutch Eredivisie club but never established himself in the first team. That prompted Kelly to try and take him back to Leicester, but it was a move doomed to failure for financial reasons.

“Joey is a player who we have monitored closely since he left and we would have liked to have brought him back,” Kelly said today. “I asked the question of the board, but was told that we weren't in a position to be able to do anything. That is where we are and in the end there was nothing we could do about it.

“Joey was our player of the season last season, and if we could have brought him back then it would have given everyone a lift. I don't want to take anything away from the group of players we have got, but I think a couple of new faces would help us in our quest to move forward.”

It is a strange situation at Leicester where a take over has been on the cards for some time which would allow former Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric to assume control. Mandaric today referred to the ‘ridiculous delays' in completing the deal and said that they had missed out on three potential signings because of it, and it now looks as though Gudjonsson is one of them.

What a refreshing change, Burnley able to sign a player that a club with the word CITY in its name can't, and so the bad news for Kelly meant good news for Steve Cotterill who believed he's got a valuable addition to his squad.

“We are pleased to have got Joey and it is an excellent fee, I don't think we could have got anyone as good in this country for that sort of money,” he said. “I would say I had my eye on him more when he was at Leicester rather than in Holland. He's not been out there too long and I don't think he settled.

“Joey is perhaps more suited to our game. He has a good pedigree and we know what he is capable of. He's combative and more than anything he shoots and he scores goals and we haven't really got that type of player in our midfield who scores enough goals.

"He has an excellent shot on him and it is so difficult to score a goal these days that people with good shooting abilities can open doors. We'll now look forward to him settling in and then we'll see how he goes.”

Commenting on the extra option in midfield Steve added: “We have lost a player already in Micah Hyde and we needed to replace him longer term. We've only got Eric Djemba-Djemba until the end of the season so we needed something a bit more permanent.

“He's a good age at 26 and if we can bring players in that are the right age then we are delighted. We've let a 32-year-old go in Micah and replaced him with a 26-year-old, that seems decent enough business.

“We sold Micah for £75,000 which could rise to £100,000 and we've brought Joey in for £150,000, so that's a good return.”