There has been so much talk in recent years about the over inflation in price that young English players have. You see the likes of John Stones being touted with £50m moves, you see Raheem Sterling actually cost £50m to Manchester City.
The amounts that are spoken about with good English players are massive. Even someone like Saido Berahino, who is good but not great, being linked with £30m moves.
England do have a number of good young players coming through the ranks; John Stones, Calum Chambers, Raheem Sterling, Saido Berahino, Jack Butland etc. However, there is one at our club; Nathan Redmond.
Redmond has been seen as a promising talent for a number of years now and is thought to be a future England international, despite still only being 21-years-old. Even though he is of tender age; he has already amassed over 100 appearances for Norwich and has almost reached 200 career appearances for Birmingham and Norwich combined.
In his 106 Norwich games, he has scored 11 goals. Now, as an attacking winger, you probably expect a little more but also considering his young age and Norwich status in the Premier League, it isn’t that surprising. Yet, Norwich fans still think he isn’t good enough.
One thing that has really surprised me this season is that fans have constantly backed a player such as Gary O’Neil, who, in no disrespect, is not the best player in the squad and is ageing. However, Redmond, who has done far more for the club than O’Neil and has far more potential, gets far more unneeded abuse.
Far too many times have I sat at Carrow Road and heard some foul-mouthed fan belt abuse at Redmond because he didn’t run at a defender. Yet, when he does run at a defender, if he either loses the ball or doesn’t cross it dead onto a forward’s head, he would also get screamed at by ‘fans’.
Before I go into my thoughts on Redmond, here are some fans opinions on the winger.
I like him, always been a big fan of him. Improved a lot over the season last season which I suppose excited a lot of people for this season. One of the things that lets him down is that he doesn’t always run at defenders which is a shame. Never really secured a place in the starting line up week in week out. But as a whole I like him and he’s young. Think he’s got a bright future ahead of him if he keeps learning and improving. If we go down and it’s an IF I imagine he’ll leave. (@Langerz9)
Redmond has potential I agree but people have been saying that since he was 16. He now needs to fulfil that potential. Last season he scored 6 league goals in 46 games which for a team 4-5 points off winning the division ISNT good enough IMO. He switches off defensively and leaves Our RB being doubled up on! Redmond has had a excellent 6 weeks for NCFC (start of this season) and that’s it! If we get a offer of over £10mil I’d 100% cash in. (@Wilcox_net)
I just think he’s a player who’s never lived up to his reputation (which I admit is probably been made too high by fans). But 1 goal in his first 50 games (I think) is not good enough for a winger, regardless of the league. I wouldn’t mind if he made a lot of assists, but he struggles with them too. All bark and no bite. (@JackNorwich)
I also ran a Twitter poll asking if people thought Redmond was good enough for Norwich or not. It was actually a little more Forza Redmond than I anticipated, with 65% of 55 votes being for Redmond, with the other 35% being against him.
Now, a couple of the fans I spoke to mentioned his end product and the numbers he has achieved. However, there are also numbers to counter that. For example, he is our joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season. He also got the most assists for us in the Championship last season (3rd overall in the entire Championship) and scored in the semi-final and final of the play-offs.
His end product may not be as consistent as fans may like but at 21-years-old, he is far more talented than most wingers at that age. In my opinion, he is far more mature too. I have met Redmond a number of times and spoke to him. I have to say, he is genuinely one of the most down to earth Premier League players you will meet, especially for his age. I wouldn’t be able to ever see him doing a John Stones or a Saido Berahino and handing in a transfer request to force a move away. I think he knows more than anyone that he has areas to improve on and you can see he has come a long way since his first season in the Premier League with Norwich.
Also, he has so much time on his hands. He is still a decent Premier League player now at 21, imagine how good he could be when he is 25 or 26. We need to make sure we can keep him at the club for as long as possible, not drive him away with constant abuse.
Something that has become a problem with Redmond’s play this season, which is one of the most pointed out as well, is that he has stopped taking players on as much as he used to. It has become very noticeable this season. Now, and this is just my opinion, I think Alex Neil could possibly be to blame, or any other member of the coaching staff for that matter. I very much doubt that Redmond suddenly wanted to start passing backwards when he got the ball and play it safe. It has to be something he has been told to do by the management team.
If this is the case then they should really take a look at themselves. Redmond’s best quality is his ability on the ball, so why try to hinder that part of his game? I would much rather he beat the fullback four times and get tackles twice than he play six simple passes and keep possession with the other untalented midfielders at the club like Alex Tettey and Gary O’Neil. That isn’t a shot at either of them, I am just saying they are not as good on the ball as someone like Redmond.
If we want to get the best out of Redmond then we need to back him, fill him with confidence and actually allow him to express himself on the pitch. This means that the fans for a start need to stop abusing him so much and the management team need to stop hindering his potential.
And, even when he is not at his blistering best he can still create goals. A lot of fans were moaning at Redmond’s performance against West Ham at the weekend, yet, he was crucial to the 2nd goal. He performed a superb heel flick to open up the West Ham midfield and the move ended with Wes Hoolahan slotting the ball home.
In conclusion, I just think that fans need to be more supportive of Redmond and take things into a bit more perspective. Get behind him and I have full faith that he will come good.