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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2007, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Kevin Ratcliffe on Fowler's move
Former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe
By Kevin Ratcliffe
Former Wales and Everton captain

Robbie Fowler's arrival at Ninian Park is a major coup for Dave Jones and Cardiff City.

Fowler might have to adjust a little bit to the pace and style of play in the Championship, but I think the move will suit him.

I certainly enjoyed my time with Cardiff when I joined them from Everton back in 1993. I maybe knew a bit more about the club than Fowler does, but I can't see him having any problems settling in.

Robbie Fowler
He's the wrong side of 30 now so Cardiff have to play to his strengths

The fans will certainly give him a great welcome because his record speaks for itself - and he's still a fantastic finisher, there is no doubt about that.

I know he's lost that little bit of sharpness, but he's still got that Premiership quality.

For me, he's one of the best finishers the British game has seen over the last 10 to 15 years.

He's reached a stage in his career now where I think he was looking to step down a division, but it was important for him to join a club with potential and looking to go places.

And although Cardiff have put a great financial package to get him, I don't think money is the reason he's coming to Ninian Park.

Obviously he's talked to the people in charge at Cardiff and he's liked what he's seen and what he's heard.

Cardiff have been looking to replace Michael Chopra after selling him to Sunderland, but I don't think Fowler will fill the same role.

He's a totally different player to Chopra. He's more of a natural goalscorer and he's done it at the top level.

606: DEBATE
JR

Chopra is still unproven at that level, although he could yet become a great player in the Premiership.

But with Robbie you're getting a proven goalscorer.

He's the wrong side of 30 now so Cardiff have to play to his strengths. They need him inside the box, that's where he'll score the goals.

There is a danger for strikers in their 30s to drop deeper and deeper instead of leading the line.

He needs to be on the shoulder of the last defender. If he's not, then he hasn't got the pace to get himself into the box to hurt the opposition.

Cardiff are also still being strongly linked with a move for Francis Jeffers, and he could be more of a straight replacement for Chopra.

He's a little bit more lively than Robbie but not as prolific as a goalscorer. He will get you goals but he's been dogged by injuries over the last few years.

I think he still hasn't proved himself at the top level. He's got the potential but he hasn't yet fulfilled it.

*Kevin Ratcliffe was speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Sportstime show

SEE ALSO
Fowler agrees to sign for Cardiff
21 Jul 07 |  Cardiff City
Bluebirds deny Jeffers interest
16 Jul 07 |  Cardiff City
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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