Premier League battle making youth development tough for Norwich City

Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy is on loan at Coventry City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy is on loan at Coventry City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Promotion to the Premier League may have held up the careers of Norwich City's youngsters but manager Alex Neil is still well aware of the talent available to him.

Norwich City Football Club hold their 2015 AGM at Carrow Road, manager Alex Neil takes a question. P

Norwich City Football Club hold their 2015 AGM at Carrow Road, manager Alex Neil takes a question. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Neil and City's hierarchy were grilled on a range of issues at the club's annual general meeting, including the lack of academy players currently playing for the first team.

Premier League rivals Southampton and Tottenham were held up as examples of clubs who are managing to integrate youth stars into their top-flight teams – but Neil insists the Canaries are not yet able to do that.

'We have loaned out more players than this club probably ever has in its history and that's the way we're trying to do it,' the Scot said.

'Let's not kid on, us getting promoted has prevented some of the young players playing. The Murphy brothers (Josh and Jacob), Harry Toffolo. Those three in particular I would have had in the squad, in terms of being involved in squads on match days, as we would have needed to cut costs.

'But at the moment two of them are playing regularly in the Championship and the other in League One, so we are trying to get them ready for first-team football in the Premier League, as they're not ready yet.'

Josh Murphy and Toffolo are currently playing in the Championship, for MK Dons and Rotherham respectively, and Jacob Murphy is shining for Coventry in League One – scoring a 10-minute hat-trick on Saturday.

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'Southampton and Tottenham are on a much better footing, they've probably got nine or 10 players who cost £10million – we haven't got any,' Neil continued.

'Tottenham have got an experienced squad which can carry one or two players being blooded in but this season our only objective is to stay in the Premier League and blood some of those players in the future.'

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