Nathan Redmond has been named the Vauxhall England Under-21 Player of the Year by members of the England Supporters club, for the year of 2016.
Southampton’s tricky winger described it as being a “great honour and achievement” to win after such a successful campaign for his country, guiding them to this year’s European U21 Championship finals.
It was an evenly fought race for the award with the former Norwich man claiming 32 per-cent of the vote. Fellow Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse - who captains the U21 side - came in second with 25 per-cent.
Perhaps the latter was in Redmond’s mind when he described being up against “some other worthy winners”.
As for ex-Southampton academy graduate Adam Lallana, he picked up the equivalent trophy for the England senior team – stemming from his consistent performances and first international goal in September.
A winning set-up
Not only did Redmond play a part in the U21’s impressively running unbeaten into qualification for the Championship finals, last year’s Toulon Tournament saw England walk away as the victor.
Comprising of 10 teams from five continents, the group stages see the two top placed teams meet in a final – in this case it was France who fell to a 2-1 upset by the hands of The Three Lions.
Although Saints’ winger hasn't been electric this season; three goals in 21 league appearances; you'd have to say it won't be long before Gareth Southgate selects him for the senior squad – so far he has not been shy in picking players he managed whilst in charge of the U21 side.
Redmond then went on to say how his squad have helped him over the years. Simply put: “I wouldn't have been able to achieve the levels I've been playing at if it wasn't for the standard of players there”.
He was also thankful “to the other boys in that Under-21 squad”, three of which line up alongside him at club level – in Matt Targett, Jack Stephens and Prowse.
This goes to show the dedication from Southampton to produce and buy young English talent; Stephens, like Redmond, was brought in while Targett and Prowse have risen through the ranks from the age of eight.
Next up for Southampton is a trip to Swansea tomorrow night, where they'll be looking to overcome the celebration hangover that haunted them against Arsenal last time out.