Today the Birmingham Mail was reporting that Norwich City is all set to announce the signing of Nathan Redmond from Birmingham City. The deal is set to be £2 million up front with a further payment of £1.2 million being paid based on various add-ons.
Today was also the day that the Canaries officially announced the signing of Ricky van Wolfswinkel via their official website (Canaries.co.uk).
The one big question that would have been on fans' lips following that news is who will supply the Dutch striker.
Of course, the club already had the services of Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington, and Redmond is another to put into the mix that will surely be considered excellent value for money. It should be remembered that Pilkington and Snodgrass both arrived for similar fees from clubs outside of the Premier League.
It should also be noted that both players adapted to life very quickly to life in the English top flight.
Redmond has youth on his side, still just 19 years of age, and although he might be a little raw, his talent is clear to see. A talent that has seen him enjoy his share of first-team football in the Championship, as well as recognition by England at various age groups, and most recently at under-21 level.
It’s fair to say that the Canaries took full advantage of Sporting Lisbon’s financial woes to capture the signature of van Wolfswinkel at a knock-down price and cleverly avoided competition by doing the deal so early. It’s worth mentioning that Redmond is worth more than what the club's paying, but the club’s financial difficulties have more or less forced them into making this decision.
Most Norwich fans would agree that there is a lack of pace in the side, and this signing will certainly help sort that out. It appears to be a bargain signing, especially considering the sort of price that talented English players typically go for.
However, it is also a very smart move for the young winger.
Too many talented young British players have gone to clubs where they are simply not going to get regular games. This leads to them not fulfilling their potential. It hasn’t helped the England team either, so it’s important for Redmond to make a move to a club that are going to give him a chance to impress.
Unsurprisingly, there were said to be a few admirers in the EPL, but it was only Swansea and Norwich that made firm offers for the player. The risk level for the Canaries on this one is relatively low, especially since Chris Hughton worked with the player while he was Birmingham’s manager. And it follows a successful route for the club of recruiting players from the lower leagues.
In this case, the player is very young with bags of talent and massive potential. His value should increase significantly if he performs well at Norwich. And in the unlikely event that he flops, Norwich will have only lost a very small sum by Premier League standards.
Hughton received a lot of criticism last season for the defensive football that he played, but this is another signing that shows that he is working towards a more attacking approach next season. It’s fair to say that the transfer budget at Carrow Road this season is significantly more than it has been in previous seasons. But it appears the majority of that budget will be reserved for a select few players.
Some fans may find the signing of Redmond to be a little underwhelming, and it’s true that the squad still needs to be significantly improved before the start of the new season.
But investing in young British players should always be part of the transfer policy.
Time will tell what Redmond can deliver, but let’s hope he gets a chance to show fans what he can do. And maybe we will be talking about him being considered for the full England squad before too long.