Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City’s interest in Norwich City midfielder James Maddison has been one of the more engaging subplots of the January transfer window, simply because everybody likes to see top-end Premier League clubs investing in young, English talent.
But as the Canaries put in a valiant performance against Chelsea in last night’s FA Cup replay at Stamford Bridge, eventually losing to the Premier League champions on penalties, it was another exciting Norwich youngster who stood out most – Jamal Lewis.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut for Norwich just a matter of weeks ago, coming on from the bench against Brentford in late December, but the fact he’s already earned the trust of manager Daniel Farke to start against Premier League opposition is incredibly telling of the midfielder’s maturity and potential.
Lewis repaid that faith last night with a stoppage time goal to take the Third Round replay into extra time – ghosting into the box and glancing a header past Willy Caballero from a Timm Klose cross – and his all-round performance was as impressive as the deft finish.
Indeed, the teenager also weighed in with the second-most tackles of any Norwich player while completing a whopping 97% of his passes in a display that combined relentless industriousness with real responsibility on the ball.
Perhaps this transfer window is a little too soon for a big club to invest in the Northern Ireland U21 – after all, he’s made just six appearances to date – but if Lewis’ quick development continues, it won’t be long before we hear him being linked with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham.