Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes admitted he was surprised at Kei Kamara’s return to the club.
The striker – who made 11 Premier League appearances for Norwich City on loan, scoring one goal – left England after playing in the club’s 2-1 home defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The loan deal did have an option for Norwich to sign the player permanently, but they declined to exercise that clause, allowing the 28-year-old Sierra Leone international to return to his parent club.
Sporting Kansas City top the Eastern Conference of the MLS on goal difference and with Kamara back involved in the squad, Vermes was buoyant about the club’s hopes.
“I thought he was gone,” Vermes told the club’s official website, before praising the player’s reaction upon knowing Norwich were not going to sign him permanently.
“Honestly, I thought he was gone. I thought they were going to pick him up. It’s interesting that they didn’t and we’re the ones who are the fortunate ones now.
“I was a little concerned before I talked to him because I wanted to see what his reaction would be, but he was tremendous.
“His attitude was perfect. He was like, ‘Look, I’m excited. I’m coming home. I’m ready. I’m getting on the first flight.’
“It’s a great situation. It’s not like he hasn’t been playing. He’s been playing week after week. It’s not like he’s completely out of shape or something.”
Kamara’s first match back will come against the Seattle Sounders on Thursday.