Nathan Redmond: A Birmingham City Fan Tells Manchester City What To Expect From The Winger
The excitement builds as the wonder kid prepares to run onto the pitch, a fast skillful youngster who could play on the left or the right - 90 minutes later he was a hero having scored four goals and hero status was established. It continued to build until he was sold for a million pounds to Forest.
Trevor Francis remains as the standard for other young players to be measured against at the Blues. We have had a number of players over the years who have been talked about as the possible new "TF" without seeing the realisation of the hope.
HOWEVER, this time, we MAY just have found a player. Nathan Redmond, one of our own, has been getting plaudits from a number of pundits.
He made his debut last season against Rochdale at the beginning of our Carling Cup success. He came on as a 2nd half substitute. In doing so, became the next youngest player for Birmingham after Trevor at 16 years 173 days.
He has been with the Blues since aged 8. He was 14 when he played for Blues U18s and he appeared for the reserves aged 15. He has also played for England for the U16s and U17s.
He has now made 34 appearances for the Blues in all competitions. He has scored 7 goals 1 in Europe and 5 in the League and 1 in the Cup, and I'm sure more will come.
However it's his creativity that excites the fans. He reminds me so much of TF in the way he just attacks the defence. He looks very composed on the ball, has good control and is very fast. When he played against Brentford last season, his impact was immediate. He took the defenders on, had a wicked shot well saved and made a real menace of himself. Yes that was lower level opposition, but he hasn't looked out of place in the Europa League games he has played in either.
He will have to be prepared for the physical treatment he will inevitably get - but I can only think that he will end up a better player.
He played in the 2nd leg of the qualifier for the group games against Nacional da Madeira. Birmingham won the game 3-0 but without a doubt the star was Nathan Redmond. He regularly beat the defenders, scored a terrific goal and could have added to it. Many Blues fans felt it was on par with Trevor's early games. Nathan did fade as the game went on, but he had shown that he could perform at a decent level.
If there is one criticism, it's that he doesn't always take the right option - but that will come, he's only young at the moment and needs more than a handful of games to improve his match vision.
The Championship isn't an easy league. There isn't the space that you get in the Premier League as many sides try to "out compete" sides, but I can't help feeling that these games will provide Nathan with really good experience. He will have to work hard to create space to get a run going, he will have to be prepared for the physical treatment he will inevitably get - but I can only think that he will end up a better player.
He hasn't had the same impact in recent months, but I believe that my previous points have played a part in that, coupled with the fact that Chris Burke and Jean Beausejour are still first choices as wide men. Nathan will have to be patient with him coming off the bench. Chris Hughton has said that the club know they have a talented player and they will work hard on both giving him the experience and opportunites he needs coupled with the protection and support he will need as a young man.
There is talk of some of the bigger clubs sniffing around, but I think we'll be alright this window as he still hasn't quite had the huge impact that we hope he will. The summer maybe a different matter however if we don't go up!
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