Rumour Mill-Burnley in Rochdale Raidy for O'Grady?
It is perhaps inevitable that if a manager states he is looking for a striker, in this case to fill the gap left by the departed Chris Iwelumo that the media speculation will be in full force linking us to possible replacements.
Eddie Howe said this week after Iwelumo left the club to sign for Watford:
'We are working on it (a replacement) because we need another striker. I don't want to go into the season with just three, so we will be working hard to bring one in.'
The World of Clarets Twitter of course has since been hectic and it was on there that it was first mooted that Burnley could have 25 year old Rochdale striker, Chris O'Grady on their radar. It is thought the rumour first broke when Richard Partington MEN Magazine sports media journalist for Greater Manchester which also includes Rochdale tweeted the speculation.
Later tweets and independent fans footy website articles then suggested we had made a £500,000 bid.
There could be some truth in the rumour though with Eddie Howe being a close pal of Rochdale gaffer, Steve Eyre. Eyre only joined League 1 club, Rochdale in June this year replacing Keith Hill who left to manage Barnsley. Howe is also fully aware of O'Grady's abilities after he helped Rochdale thump Bournemouth 4-0 at Dean Court during the promotion season
So what do we know about O'Grady?
He started his career at Leicester City in 2000 at the age of 14.The forward impressed then manager, Micky Adams being prolific in front of goal for the youth and reserves teams. O'Grady made his Foxes debut coming off the bench in Leicester's 2-0 victory over Grimsby Town in April 2003 but failed to establish himself as a regular first-team choice.
Loan spells at Notts County and Rushden & Diamonds followed and in January 2007, O'Grady signed for Rotherham United on a two-and-a-half year deal for £65,000. He left the club though to join Oldham Athletic for an undisclosed fee in May 2008.
He only played 11 league games for Oldham and spent most of his time out on loan with spells at Bury, Bradford, Stockport and finally Rochdale. It was at Rochdale that he made his mark scoring 12 goals in 21 league appearances after joining them on loan in August 2009.
O'Grady made his move to Spotland permanent in January 2010 after signing a 2½ year contract for an undisclosed fee. He has continued to whack 'em in for Dale scoring at a rate of one goal every 3-4 games.
It had been thought he might be moving to Sheffield Wednesday in the summer, but it is understood that their bid of £200,000 has been rejected.However if our much higher bid is true, Dale could be tempted by the offer rather than risk losing him for nowt when his contract expires next summer.
There is no doubt this chap can score goals, but his he the sort of striker that would easily adapt playing at a higher level in the Championship and would he be worth the risk? The answer is probably yes,in my opinion. Strikers can usually score at any level of football and he certainly sounds prolific in front of goal.