England beckons for Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond
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Nathan Redmond's England time will come, insists Norwich City boss Alex Neil.
The Canaries' four-goal Premier League top scorer has so far been overlooked by Roy Hodgson, with the Three Lions' chief drafting in Manchester United wideman Jesse Lindgard for the recent friendlies against Spain and France. Redmond had to pull out of earning his 26th Under-21 cap over the same period to rest a hamstring problem, but Neil is urging his young starlet to focus on club matters.
'His form, in terms of statistics, has been excellent,' said Neil. 'Apart from the goals he has three or four assists from nine starts. For him, that is a huge upturn in where he has been for the last couple of seasons. He has done exceptionally well for the under-21s but other managers and coaches have to decide on those roles and which players they want. Nathan just has to continue to try and improve and I am sure his time will come.
'It is nothing to do with me. Nathan has been heavily involved with the U21s and he will want to be involved with the seniors, but at the end of the day that is Roy Hodgson's decision. Nathan is one of England's top young talents and I think I have seen big changes in his game. He is a bright boy – the good thing about him is he is really geared to learning and wants to become better.'
Neil's trust in Redmond saw him deployed in a central role against Chelsea.
'I just felt we needed to double up on the flanks,' he said. 'Jonny (Howson) gives me better security on the wider area and we hoped Nathan with his pace and his quickness of feet would cause them issues. I certainly felt in the first half he got the wrong side of their midfield quite a few times and in that period he was a driving force for us. Maybe the selection of pass once we got further up the pitch could have been better but he served his purpose in the first half.'