Canaries left-back tipped to follow Liverpool star’s path to the top

Norwich City star Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland earlier this month Picture: Steve Pasto

Norwich City star Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland earlier this month Picture: Steve Paston/PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Jamal Lewis will thrive in the Premier League and could even follow in the footsteps of Liverpool star Andy Robertson, former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy has proclaimed.

The left-back was an integral part of the Canaries winning the Championship title, with remarkable consistency also allowing him to continue his international emergence at 21 years old.

The Luton-born defender qualifies for Northern Ireland through his mother and has so far been capped 10 times by Michael O'Neill.

"I always liked Robertson in the Scottish game and Hull City and was surprised such a move didn't happen sooner," McIlroy told the Belfast Telegraph. "Just like Robertson, bigger clubs will come calling if Jamal does well at Norwich.

"If he can be as consistent as he has been then the world is his oyster. There are still not a lot of top-quality left-sided players. Robbo has been a sensation at Liverpool and this kid can go the same road. They play the same way and their style is almost identical. Jamal couldn't get a better role model than Robertson."

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The former Manchester United midfielder, who was capped 67 times by Northern Ireland, is confident the City academy product will step up to Premier League standards quickly.

"Now he is going to be tested even more, not just Jamal but Norwich, too," McIlroy added. "This is a huge step up from the Championship, but Jamal has shown for his country that he is not out of place in big games.

"It will be interesting to see how he copes with the top-flight but I think he will thrive on the opportunity of playing against better players.

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"I don't expect Jamal to be fazed by games against the likes of Liverpool at Anfield, though I hope for his development he will learn from them."

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The 64-year-old added: "When it comes to potential you have to match him with someone like Jonny Evans. It's a great accolade, no doubt.

"The comparison is best made at international level. Jonny has been a very consistent player with Northern Ireland while Jamal's performances also deserve that kind of praise - he's been excellent."

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