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Big chance for Middleton to show Canaries what they’re missing out on

Glenn Middleton in Carrow Road action in January, when he helped City's U23s beat Bournemouth 1-0, ahead of his Rangers switch. Picture: Nick Butcher

Glenn Middleton in Carrow Road action in January, when he helped City's U23s beat Bournemouth 1-0, ahead of his Rangers switch. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Glenn Middleton is a player that most Norwich City fans have never seen play live, so a high-profile game in France may well be of interest to Canaries fans tonight.

Glenn Middleton is a player that most Norwich City fans have never seen play live, so a high-profile game in France may well be of interest to Canaries fans tonight.

The Scottish winger looked to be one of the top talents emerging from City’s academy but was surprisingly allowed to join Rangers on the final day of the January transfer window.

Tonight the speedy 18-year-old will hope to start for Scotland Under-21s as they take on England in the semi-finals of the prestigious Toulon Tournament (6.30pm kick-off).

Middleton rose to prominence for the Canaries after being named on the bench for the first team back in January 2017, aged just 17, when Alex Neil took a threadbare squad to Southampton for an FA Cup third round replay.

Despite his tender years the Scot was already becoming an established force for the Canaries’ under-23 squad and was working closely with club legend Darren Huckerby in his development as a left winger. A little over a year later and both Middleton and Huckerby were gone, as City’s new regime began casting the club in their image.

Allowing the stocky wide man to join boyhood club Rangers was billed as a result of City being unable to offer Middleton the first-team chances he felt he deserved, with no fee mentioned but an “additional sell-on clause related to his future development” agreed with the Glasgow giants.

Academy manager Steve Weaver said the move was in the youngster’s “best interests”, while sporting director Stuart Webber asked City fans to trust their judgement, adding: “We got a good deal from Rangers that protects us but we work on the theory that we want guys here prepared to fight to get into the first team rather than maybe want it handed to them on a plate.”

The pot was stirred again at the weekend, as Middleton revealed how he was “shocked” and left in tears after being told he could leave Norwich, before saying: “I feel sorry for Norwich in terms of what they’re missing now.”

MORE: Glenn Middleton opens up over City exit

That followed the youngster setting up Scotland’s first goal in a 2-1 win over South Korea which ensured top spot in Group B, ahead of France, as he won his second cap at U21 level.

Now the former City hopeful and his team-mates, including £15m West Brom signing Oliver Burke, face England in Aubagne as they look to secure Scotland’s first Toulon final, having finished third last year.

Norwich star James Maddison and former loan keeper Angus Gunn are too old to play for England at the annual event but are still eligible for the duration of the 2019 Uefa European U21 Championship campaign.

• The match can be viewed on FreeSports, available on all major TV providers, including on Freeview and BT channels 95.

• Watch highlights of Scotland’s win over South Korea, including Middleton’s assist for the first goal, above

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