Nathan Redmond is a name that most football fans will not be familiar with, that is of course unless you tuned into Birmingham’s rather tedious Carling Cup fixture against Rochdale last month, but having represented England at youth level, the winger could well be a star in the making.
At 16 years and 173 days, he became the club’s second youngest player in the clubs history when he appeared in the Carling Cup as a substitute for the last 12 minutes and even in that short space of time you could see why club and country hold him in such high regard.
His electric pace coupled with his dribbling ability were the boldest brushstrokes in his portrayal that evening and although he was pitted against lesser opposition his lack of fear was refreshing.
He darted in from the left flank to fire a 25-yard effort just wide whilst the threat he posed never looked like subsiding – his raw talent suggesting that the future is bright.
His only previous threat of emergence came when he was put on the bench against Everton towards the end of last season with Blues boss Alex McLeish believing it would be the right thing to give him a taste of first team action in order to preserve his appetite for breaking through the academy system.
McLeish said: “Terry Westley has been here a few years now and unfortunately, at youth level, it’s not an overnight job,” McLeish said. “Sometimes it can take a fair time to get the right players through.”
“If you look at Ajax and their famed Academy, the owners always felt the position of the youth coach was more important than the first team coach, because the first team coaches kind of came and went.
“But the youth coach was getting very long contracts, providing he was good enough and had the ability, because it takes a few years for kids to come through, certainly to get the right crop.”
And Blues fans will certainly be hoping to see more from Redmond when Blues have games sewn up this season, as they have not seen a youth product since the days of now Fulham striker Andy Johnson and arguably Darren Carter.
If Saturday afternoon against Everton was anything to go by, it would offer a delightful reprieve from seeing a seemingly clueless Keith Fahey ambling around the St Andrews pitch.