Southampton have announced their first signing of the summer, as England Under-21 star Nathan Redmond has joined from Norwich City for a reported fee of around £8m that could rise to £10m.
#SaintsFC complete the signing of winger @NathanRedmond22 on a five-year contract! #SaintRedmond https://t.co/o9myBvxLKP— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) June 25, 2016
The 22-year-old wideman moved to Norfolk in 2013 for £2m, and moves on from Carrow Road with just a year left on his contract after the Canaries' relegation from the Premier League last season.
To learn more about the new Saint, we asked two Norwich fans in Cory Varney and George Gook for their views on their departed star.
Saints fans will have seen glimpses of Redmond over the past few years, but what kind of player is he?
Cory Varney: He's a frustrating yet undeniably talented player. Along with Wes Hoolahan, he was probably our only other real creative outlet last season. He's potentially got everything, as he's quick, skillful and he has a shot on him. His movement and vision are also very good.
The issues are he blows hot and cold; in other words, inconsistent. His decision making can also leave a bit to be desired - so often last season he'd get the ball out wide, but refused to take on his man and run at them. It may have been confidence related, who knows, but he terrifies defenders when he does run at them. He's a real menace when he's on it, unfortunately for us it just wasn't as often as we'd have liked.
George Gook: On his day he has the skill and pace to beat any full back in the league, on his day. The issue we've suffered with Redmond the past three seasons is getting consistency out of him, which is why he's spent large periods of the last few seasons on our bench even in the Championship.
I've quite often described Redmond as the most frustrating player I've seen in a Norwich shirt as you know how good he could be, yet he only seems to show his potential in small periods. He's very much a confidence player so with the right management he could truly blossom.
I feel Redmond has suffered a lot being a part of a Norwich team who have been very poor going forward the last couple of seasons so with the right tactics and team around him, I'd expect him to produce a lot more than what we've got out of him. He'll cut in and shoot; some will fly in the top corner, some will hit you in row z, but when he gets the ball you feel something could happen.
His crossing is okay, nothing special but not too bad either. His real strength is running at players with pace and hitting teams on the counter; however, on quite a few times for us he took too long to make his move allowing the defence to organise again that could be down to the Norwich team and tactics he played with.
Nathan Redmond is a real rough diamond; smooth the edges and you'll have a great player.
The fee is rumoured to be £10m; who is the more likely to be happy with that price, Southampton or Norwich?
CV: I think it's a good price for both parties. He's in the last year of his contract and seemingly wasn't eager to renew which is completely fair enough. Our squad needs a shake up and we need some decent funds to spend wisely on that, whereas I think for Southampton it's a very reasonable price for a potentially very talented player.
As long as we reinvest wisely, I think it's a positive fee for both sides.
GG: All depends on which Nathan Redmond will turn up. If you get the Redmond we have had for 25% of our games and the one who plays for England U21 then you'll have a winger who will be very exciting and you'll easily get your value for money.
For us, with there being just 12 months left on his contract I feel the deal is a fair one for both sides. The disappointing thing from our side is that Birmingham will receive 20% of the deal however the fee represents a true reflection of his worth.
Everyone at #ncfc would like to thank @NathanRedmond22 for his efforts, and we wish him all the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/exGCSBFTMj
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) June 25, 2016
Everyone at #ncfc would like to thank @NathanRedmond22 for his efforts, and we wish him all the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/exGCSBFTMj— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) June 25, 2016
What is the general mood around him leaving Norwich?
CV: I think there's a mix; Redmond has been horribly underrated by some Norwich fans during his time here, which is a shame. There's a disappointment that he's leaving amongst myself and others as he would have been a very useful player for us next season, but I think there's a realisation too that it's the right time for him.
He needs a move to continue his development and push onto the next level. The circumstances too - recent relegation and last year of his contract - it seems to make a lot of sense.
GG: It's generally a feeling of acceptance with everyone expecting him to move on this summer with there being just one more year left on his contract. I believe he was offered a new contract which he turned down, and therefore for a club like us can't afford to let a player of his worth to walk away from the club for free. We feel like the fee is fair. He will leave us with good memories, especially the goal against Ipswich in the play-off semi-final and then against Middlesbrough in the Final.
Delighted to have joined @SouthamptonFC! Can't wait to get going, thank you for all your welcoming messages!☺️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Lf4q4Se44W
— Redz (@NathanRedmond22) June 25, 2016
Delighted to have joined @SouthamptonFC! Can't wait to get going, thank you for all your welcoming messages!☺️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Lf4q4Se44W— Redz (@NathanRedmond22) June 25, 2016
Finally, what do you make of The Saints themselves?
CV: I like Southampton a lot. For Redmond, I genuinely don't think there could be a better move for him.
I think Saints are a fantastic club for him to continue his development at and really reach the heights that I firmly believe he can achieve. I'm also slightly envious of you guys too, we both did the double promotions thing but you've pushed on to very impressive heights whereas we've never really got to that next level.
But all in all, Redmond's going to a great club, it's a good move for all parties and I hope he and yourselves have a fantastic season!
GG: Always enjoyed watching Southampton as they play nice attacking football. Southampton are what I believe Norwich should aim to be: an established premier league club, bringing in players developing them and repeat.
The way the academy keeps producing is something I am jealous of, especially as we haven't had an academy player come through and break into the team for a fair few years now. It's always a pleasant experience visiting St. Mary's, and it's one I hope to return to in 2017/18.
We thank Cory Varney and George Gook for their time, and you can follow them on Twitter at @iwritethings23 and @GeorgeGookNCFC respectively!