Player to watch this season: Nathan Redmond at Norwich
While Wilfired Zaha may have been the Championship’s young hype-magnet in chief last term, Norwich City have brought a second-tier-hardened young wide man of their own in Nathan Redmond for a fifth of the fee United paid for their man.
Norwich paid just £3m for the England Under-21 starlet, beating off the challenges of at least six other Premier League clubs for his signature and chief among Redmond’s reasons for choosing East Anglia may be a reunion with Canaries boss Chris Hughton.
It was Hughton that gave him his league debut when the pair were at St Andrews, with Redmond describing his mentor as giving him the freedom to express himself every time he stepped onto the pitch.
Keen Canaries who took in England’s European Under 21 Championship campaign earlier in the summer will know that Redmond’s performances were one of the few rays of light in an underwhelming tournament for Stuart Pearce’s men.
The 19-year-old can be characterised in the recent tradition of tricky, pacey English wingers such as Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon, but he has also performed with credit just behind a main striker and may be seen linking up to good effect with fellow new-boy Ricky Van Wolfswinkel in a yellow shirt this season.
He’ll offer Hughton a hybrid of many of the attacking options already at his disposal, with similarly quick feet and incisive passing to Robert Snodgrass and a knack for driving runs a la Anthony Pilkington, so should see plenty of game time for his new club.
Pleasingly for the Carrow Road outfit – whose toothless attack so nearly sent them down last term – he’ll also bring a guarantee of goals, whether by taking or creating opportunities, having contributed in one or other manner to at least eight goals in his last two seasons at Birmingham.
Three wins in their last four outings saw Norwich leave relegation fears behind to post an 11th place finish in 2012/13 and they’re 7/2 to improve one place for a top 10 finish this season.