One to Watch - Jonny Howson
Name: Jonathan Howson
Date of Birth: 21/5/88
Former Clubs: Leeds United
League Appearances (Goals): 202 (26)
International Appearances (Goals): 0 (0)
Stat of the Day: Jonny Howson clocked the fastest speed of any Premier League player from the first round of games, reaching 23.12 mph
Player Profile: Since QPR and Norwich first arrived onto the Premier League scene, both have had contrasting transfer window policies; while QPR have flung themselves around like a hyperactive kid in a sweet shop, Norwich have conservatively played the university graduate, making the best of what they`ve got in an attempt to compete with the top. Despite half of their acquisitions coming from the Leeds United first team, Paul Lambert made a shrewd investment with the signing of Jonny Howson. The Norwich manager may have been a bit hasty in comparing the central midfielder to Iniesta, but in Howson Norwich have a creative midfielder with the desire to win and lead games on his own, with surely many more years competing at the top level.
With many players in the modern era being classed as either a 'defensive` or 'attacking` midfielder, Howson`s box to box work rate and penchant for a tough tackle as well as an inspired pass, caps him off as a true all round player. It was no coincidence there was uproar amongst Leeds fans when their local hero was sold for what was regarded as a derisory sum, as Elland Road said goodbye to a firm fans favourite. Howson will play the main part in a Norwich five man midfield, and while all will look to capitalise on possession, it is their distinct lack of pace and outstanding attacking threat that QPR must take advantage of. Despite this, Norwich`s own Jamie Mackie will have to be kept under a close eye on Saturday as the 24-year-old will be looking to push further on and establish himself as a top Premiership midfielder.
Jonny Howson made his breakthrough into the Leeds first team aged just 18, under manager Kevin Blackwell after impressing in the reserves. Despite Blackwell being sacked immediately after Howson`s debut for Leeds in the Carling Cup, new boss Dennis Wise handed the midfielder his first league start in December 2006 against Hull City. Despite his quick burst onto the scene, Howson found himself in and out of the team under Wise and it was only when Gary McAllister became manager that he became a regular in the heart of midfield, winning many plaudits with his performances.
Leeds inability to push themselves out of League One and the emergence of Fabien Delph furthered hindered Howson`s chances of pushing on, but new manager Simon Grayson finally gave Howson a new lease of life as he was appointed vice-captain in 2009. The midfielder became an integral part in the Leeds side and his impressive performances helped his side to promotion in 2010. His imposing nature continued in the Championship as he was named Leeds` Young Player of the Year the following season. He was named permanent club captain for the 2011-2012 season, but Norwich swooped to sign the youngster for £2 million in January with only six months left on his contract, having made over 180 league appearances and scoring 25 goals in his time at Elland Road.
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