Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond says his success with the England Under-21s has come because he is “allowed to play with freedom” with Gareth Southgate’s team.
Redmond scored a hat-trick for the England Under-21s in a 3-1 win against Wales in a UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium last night.
That was a fifth goal in 10 games at Under-21 level for the 20-year-old, yet he managed just one goal for the Canaries in the Premier League last season.
Redmond, speaking to the BBC after last night’s game, said: “When I come here I’m allowed to play with freedom and with the talented players we’ve got, in training we are given the belief and faith to go and express ourselves on the pitch.
“And it showed tonight on the pitch that when we are given the ball, with the players that we’ve got throughout the whole team, it pays off.”
Redmond joined City from Birmingham City last summer for a reported fee of £3.2million, joining up with his former manager Chris Hughton.
He showed plenty of promise throughout the season, but in 39 appearances in all competitions only found the back of the net once, scoring the winner in a 1-0 home win against Southampton in August.
In his 23 Premier League starts, and 11 appearances as a substitute, Redmond fired in 66 shots to end the season with an average rate of 1.9 shots per game.
According to www.whoscored.com that ranked Redmond 39th for average shots per game in the entire league – with City team-mate Robert Snodgrass the highest ranking Canary in 21st, with 71 shots in his 30 league games, scoring six times, to end with an average of 2.4 shots per game.
The statistics prove that Redmond needs to improve his finishing if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential, with Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate happy to sing the praises of his hat-trick hero last night.
“The one area of his game he is looking to add is goals, and I think we are able to give him the freedom to play in more advanced areas,” Southgate told Sky Sports.
“I thought he was such a handful all night.
“We have got three or four players that if we can get in one-versus-one situations, then they are devastating in attack. Tonight, his finishing matched the rest of his game.”
Redmond signed a four-year contract with City last summer so a sizeable transfer fee is likely to be needed to persuade the Canaries to sell the youngster after their relegation to the Premier League.
Do you think City will hold on to Redmond this summer? Or do you think City should sell the youngster if an acceptable offer comes in? Leave your comments below.