Carlton Morris will be ready to push for first-team action with Norwich City next season
- Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd
He may not have made an impact for the first team but signing Carlton Morris to a new long-term contract could well prove to be a valuable bit of business for Norwich City.
The striker would have been out of contract this summer and given that he is 21 years old, his Canaries future was far from certain. Those who have been following the strapping forward's career closely know what he is capable of though.
Cambridge-born Morris joined City's academy at the age of 10 and played an integral part in the FA Youth Cup success in 2013, leading the line as an 18-year-old.
He may not yet have made an impact at senior level, making just one substitute appearance two years ago, but Morris is now good enough to start getting more chances next season.
I remember watching Morris play for City's under-21s back in February 2014, in a Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final against Cromer at the FDC in Bowthorpe.
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There was plenty of hype about Morris then following the FA Youth Cup success but he was taught a lesson that night, by the imposing figure of former Norfolk cricket captain Paul Bradshaw, who was in the centre of defence for the Crabs.
Bradshaw took it upon himself to teach the youngster about men's football that night, with Morris initially struggling to control his frustration at getting bullied. However, the City striker had the last laugh, heading home the second goal in a 2-0 win – and there is no chance of him being bullied today.
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He returned from a productive loan in the Scottish Premiership with Hamilton last season, where he scored eight goals in 33 games, looking bigger, stronger and hungry for action.
This season I've seen him in action regularly for City's U23s, who he scored eight goals in 15 games for, including one against the MK Dons first team and goals against the development sides of Valencia and Celtic.
In an interview in January previous U23s coach Dmitri Halajko agreed with me that Morris is now too good for that level. Now he just needs to shake off his hamstring issue so he can start gaining Championship experience with loan club Rotherham – and start showing Alex Neil that he is ready to be included next season.
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