Premier League Career: West Bromwich Albion (2008-2009), (2010-2015), Norwich City (2015-2016)
Graham Dorrans has divided his career between the English and Scottish leagues. He started his professional journey at Livingston and has also played for Partick Thistle north of the border. In England, he represented West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City before returning to Scottish football, signing for Rangers in 2017. Dorrans has won 12 international caps for Scotland, making his senior debut for the Scots in October 2009.
Graham came through the ranks at Livingston alongside a fellow colleague who would move into the Premier League later in his career in Robert Snodgrass. During this time, he also had a 15-game loan stint at Partick Thistle, recording five goals for the Glasgow side. After impressing at Livingston and winning the Scottish First Division Player’s Player of the Year award in 2007-2008, Dorrans agreed to move down south, linking up with West Bromwich Albion in a move that was initially agreed for £200,000 in January 2008.
Dorrans joined up with his new teammates that summer but had to wait until December for his Premier League bow, arriving as a half-time substitute in a victory over Manchester City. His 30-minute cameo was impressive, playing a big role in Luke Moore opening the scoring and he received praise from his manager afterwards who said: “He’s outstanding on the pitch with his ability to manipulate the ball, create and play clever disguised passes.”
He made another seven appearances that season in the Premier League but West Brom were relegated and he broke his metatarsal towards the end of the season in a fixture against Liverpool FC.
He was outstanding on West Brom’s return to second-tier football, scoring 13 times and ensuring it was a swift return back to the Premier League. Widely praised for his control, skill and readership of the game, Dorrans signed two new contract extensions during the 2010 calendar year to stave off interest from a number of interested suitors, including West Ham United who saw bids rejected for the Scotsman.
Dorrans was voted into the Championship Team of the Year but couldn’t sustain the goalscoring form he’s shown in the Championship on West Brom’s return to the football elite. Nevertheless, he still made 52 Premier League appearances combined in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 as Albion became a consistent finisher in the mid-table positions.
After being left out of a matchday squad by Steve Clarke for the New Year’s Day clash with Fulham in January 2013, he was made available for transfer. Clarke insisted that discussions between manager and player were still cordial and he would only leave if there was an interested party willing to pay a respectable fee. No offers were forthcoming and Dorrans actually stayed with the Baggies through the rest of Clarke’s reign, plus that of Pepe Mel and Alan Irvine.
He signed a three-year contract extension in July 2014 and made 21 appearances in 2014-2015, scoring in a commanding victory over Burnley. However, he left West Brom on the final day of the 2015 winter transfer window and moved on-loan to Norwich City for the remainder of the season. He helped guide rookie manager Alex Neil through the navigation of a competitive division and the Canaries triumphed via the play-offs to return to the Premier League at the first attempt of asking. With promotion secured, Dorrans’ move to Carrow Road became a permanent one.
He made 21 Premier League appearances in 2015-2016 but failed to score and Norwich were relegated at the end of the season. After another season in East Anglia, he was attracted to the revival Rangers have embarked on in Scottish football. Dorrans has currently scored five goals and created four others for teammates but has only managed 23 games due to persistent injuries in his first two campaigns at Ibrox. Often on the sidelines because of this, it remains doubtful if he is going to be part of Steven Gerrard’s long-term plans as the Gers look to close the gap on Glasgow rivals Celtic.