If Northern Ireland manage to convert their favourable qualifying position into a cemented spot at Euro 2016, Kyle Lafferty’s goal-scoring exploits will have been integral.
In stark contrast to the Enniskillen native’s growing cult status in his homeland however, is Lafferty’s dying reputation at Norwich, the club he joined just over a year ago.
Whereas Lafferty’s seven strikes over eight qualifying matches have pushed the Northern Irish to the brink of next summer’s festival of football, he has been ostracised at Norwich.
Loaned out for the latter part of his debut season at Carrow Road, the number nine is yet to make a single one of five matchday squads under Alex Neil so far this term.
It’s night and day for the former Rangers ace, which got us thinking here at News.Ladbrokes towers about other club strugglers, who’ve strangely been able to relocate their scoring mojo at international level.
David Healy – Northern Ireland – Games to goals ratio: Club 4.3 / International 2.63
One of Lafferty’s predecessors for the Green and White Army showed the current forward how it is done with 36 goals in 95 games for his country – yet other than in decent spells with Preston and Leeds, never uprooted any trees.
Milan Baros – Czech Republic – Games to goals ratio: Club 3.0 / International 2.26
Slightly harsh to label the Champions League winner as a club dud, but given his world-class returns of 41 in 93 for the Czechs, it’s fair to say he may have left some potential unfulfilled around the continent, other than in a prolific spell at Galatasaray.
Stern John – Trinidad and Tobago – Games to goals ratio: Club 3.21 / International 1.64
A physically strong striker who will have forged fond memories around the Midlands and Southampton from his time in England’s second tier, although John never really cut the mustard in the Premier League. In contrast he is an absolute legend in the Carribean having fired 70 in 115 for T&T.
Marcus Allback – Sweden – Games to goals ratio: Club 2.62 / International 2.42
Best remembered on English shores for flunking badly in an Aston Villa jersey, more than half of his club goals actually arrived for lesser known Swedish outfit Orgryte. There was no arguing with Allback’s record of 30 in 74 caps for Sweden though.
Peter Crouch – England – Games to goals ratio: Club 3.36 / International 1.90
The Stoke man has been around the block more times than a pesky traffic warden, but still his returns at club level are some way short of plentiful. However, his time in the Three Lions limelight proved ultra productive, as Crouch’s tally of 22 in 42 attests.
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