Road to the top is fraught with danger for Norwich City’s young hopefuls
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Remember Freddy Adu?
He is the American player touted as a wonder-kid at the age of 14, but who failed to live up to the hype and became a journeyman footballer who played for 13 teams in eight different countries.
It's perhaps better than most, but the path of the young hopeful can be a difficult one. Some blossom, some fall by the wayside.
There have been a few at Norwich City: they shine brightly, but fade away. Kris Renton, Bally Smart, Cameron McGeehan and Cameron King, Jamar Loza to name but a very small few.
Others are in situ – the Murphy twins, Jacob and Josh, have perhaps passed the precipice marked 'will they, won't they?', while the likes of Carlton Morris, Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey have yet to reach that point.
Of course, the more advanced their careers become, the less likely they are to be Norwich City players.
Nathan Redmond is a good example. A promising player when Chris Hughton signed him in the summer of 2013, it took just three years before he was a wanted man, with Southampton paying £11m for the services of a star of the future. He cut a frustrating and frustrated figure here sometimes, but is growing into his new club and the Premier League. Now 23, Redmond was England Under-21 player of the year for 2016 and will undoubtedly be in the senior squad sooner rather than later.
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Robbie Brady looks older than his 25 years but he's still relatively young and he's a Premier League player, having used Carrow Road as a nice stepping stone on the journey to the top flight.
They are two young, developing players who have been nurtured on their journeys and there should now be no looking back.
But it doesn't always work that way. Tom Adeyemi was a local boy made good, but he couldn't quite crack the first team. Ditto goalkeeper Jed Steer.
Sergi Canos was wanted, then not needed – is Alex Pritchard in a similar category? Will he be able to establish himself at City? Seems like everyone wants him to, but it's proving a little difficult. Will he go the way of Canos, or is he a Brady or a Redmond in the making?
We might ask the same questions of Harry Toffolo, James Maddison, Morris, Cantwell and Godfrey.