He is back in the big time, and now Nathan Redmond is starting to deliver the goods in the Premier League.
Redmond’s early season form has helped the Canaries to a decent start in the Premier League, whilst last Sunday’s defeat against Southampton was a quiet game for Redmond following the sending off of Steven Whittaker, which cost the Canaries dear on the day.
Nevertheless, in the three previous games Redmond was at the forefront of Norwich’s good play, scoring a couple of eye catching goals against Crystal Palace and Sunderland.
However, this rise in form has been happening long before his return to the Premier League. The improvement in Redmond’s game has been marked since Alex Neil took the Norwich hot-seat last season.
Many other English talents have impressed this season. The likes of Ross Barkley, Joe Gomez and Callum Wilson come to mind, but there was only one English player to have either scored or assisted a goal in his first three games this season, and that was Redmond.
He made his debut at Birmingham aged just 17 and now at the age of 21, with more than 170 senior appearances under his belt, it does look like his long anticipated progress has accelerated massively over the last year.
Relegation with Norwich in 2014 provided focus. “I learnt a lot more in that year than I have in any other year,” he said. “I think for me personally it was a wake-up call.”
But the real catalyst for his up turn in form was the arrival of Alex Neil in January.
“He won the boys over straight away,” said Redmond. “He gave us respect and we give him respect. He told me he wanted more from me. Since he came in my assists went up and my goals-to-game ratio went up as well.”
Redmond’s natural ability has never been in doubt. He is a supremely talented player, with great pace and the ability to shoot and score from distance as highlighted with his goal against Palace. But his best attribute is arguably his dribbling ability.
He ranked amongst the top two for dribbles completed last season in the Championship with only Bakary Sako with more successful dribbles, but until recently the goals and assists weren’t exactly flowing.
Former Canaries boss Chris Hughton admitted himself that Redmond is “lacking” an end product. The stats backed this up with just one solitary goal in 21 games, but the difference Neil has made to Redmond’s game can be seen in the statistics.
In the 27 games under Neil, Redmond has netted eight goals and assisted a further seven, whereas in the previous 21 there was just the return of one solitary goal – the transformation has been astronomical.
You can see with Neil in charge he is the man that has got the best from Redmond, and at the moment you can’t imagine a better place for Redmond to be right now.