Article by The Damned United
Right, with this one, you might not agree with me, but Nathan Redmond is a strange one. When Birmingham City we’re up in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago, he was probably one of the most highly-rated prospects going. But since their relegation in May 2011, Redmond has disappeared into the obscurity of the championship.
His scenario is a bit of an enigma, players at his age who need all the experience they can get should be playing as much regular football as they possibly can, but strangely he’s not. Throughout his short career he’s been restricted largely to cameos as a substitute, despite many Birmingham fans thinking he has the ability to hold down a regular starting place in the team. I suppose he’s what you’d call a ‘proper winger’, in that he can play on either side, has pace, trickery and good technique about him and also has the bravery to play direct football and beat a player. It all sounds so promising, doesn’t it. So why can’t he get in the team?
He’s only made 30 appearances for Birmingham and scored 5 goals in the process, which is fairly modest to say he’s been around for a couple of years already.
The bulk of those came in what you could call his breakthrough season in the championship last term. But in that season, City played nearly 60 games in all competitions, and Redmond played in only around 35 of those, which may have been down to his in experience at the time. He took part in the championship,League Cup, FA Cup and also the Europa League, which to be honest, not many 18 year-olds get to do.
But Birmingham have got a good squad, despite sitting precariously above the championship relegation zone. Their team is littered with quality, including individuals such as Marlon King and England goalkeeper Jack Butland, and they’ve also got wingers such as Chris Burke and new signing Peter Lovenkrands, which might suggest why he’s being limited to only substitute appearances of late. Last weekend against Nottingham Forest he found himself on the bench again, but when he came on he changed the game, replacing older, more experienced players with his youthful pacey attacking talent. But there’s only so much you can do when you come on for the final 10-15 minutes, and he couldn’t influence the game as much as he would have wanted, and Forest fought back for the draw.
But still, he’s only 18, he’s probably got a good 15 years at least left in him, and in that time, he could reignite his form that first saw him recognised as one of the brightest young talents in the country.