Nathan Redmond’s Norwich City move shows a maturity beyond his years

Posted by Paddy Davitt

Shaun Botterill/Getty ImagesNew Norwich City man Nathan Redmond should thrive under the tutelage of Canaries manager Chris Hughton.

Nathan Redmond's arrival at Norwich City is a testament to Chris Hughton.

The highly-regarded England Under-21 international was attracting admiring glances from a third of the Premier League, if you separate the fact from copious fiction that characterises the summer transfer hiatus from the real action.

- Canaries swoop for winger Redmond

Birmingham boss Lee Clark confirmed as much last week, along with the teaser that two clubs had shown their hand and met the Blues' valuation for a 19-year-old prospect who literally could develop into a homegrown star. Redmond was arguably the only bright spot to emerge from the depressingly familiar wreck of England's abject European Championship showing under Stuart Pearce at the under-21 level. The Birmingham-bred wide player displayed the technique and the international composure sadly lacking in the majority of his contemporaries. Redmond has learnt good habits at St Andrews.

Hughton cultivated a youthful talent and was the first to really let him fly on the big stage when he was in charge of the cash-strapped Midlands club. Redmond burst onto the scene in Birmingham's Europa League jaunt the season before last and an ultimately failed Championship play-off push.

But it was only a matter of time and enough financial muscle before Redmond was ripped from the place that had forged his individual gifts. He practically spelt it out on Thursday afternoon following the completion of a deal which appears to represent excellent value for the Canaries in a congested market. Hughton was a former mentor and the attraction of a reunion was too irresistible. Redmond went further and suggested Hughton's formative influence had brought the best football out of his embryonic career. That is a tantalising prospect for Norwich fans who, like the rest of the domestic football audience, can see the huge potential.

Hughton and his coaching staff must now extract that in the much more demanding surroundings of the Premier League. But Redmond's eulogy merely reinforces the notion that Hughton is a manager who inspires fierce loyalty. Sebastien Bassong's first season at Carrow Road ended with a player-of-the-year gong. It is extremely doubtful the classy Frenchman with a pedigree that included both Newcastle and Tottenham would have cast much of a glance in the direction of Norfolk's finest footballing institution -- were it not for the presence of the man who first guided him on his arrival in England.

Hughton's calm exterior belies a competitive soul who excelled as a player and is now proving his worth in the dugout. Attracting players of the calibre of Redmond, Bassong or Ricky van Wolfswinkel underline his ambition to turn the Canaries into something more than perennial relegation battlers. Norwich is a perfect fit for a man who endured the soap opera on Tyneside and the financial strictures in the Second City. The Canaries are solvent and ambitious and that is an alluring proposition. Redmond's latest endorsement merely illustrates the point they also possess a class operator at the helm.

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