Nathan Redmond says he’s delighted to be making his mark at the tender age of 17.
But the Brummie wonderkid admits he has still got plenty to learn at Blues.
It’s remarkable to think that Redmond’s first competitive 90 minutes came in the Europa League play-off at CD Nacional.
And he kept his place to make his league debut for Blues at Middlesbrough.
His rise has been meteoric, a testament to his ability, outlook and also in part due to injury problems and the depth of squad Chris Hughton has to juggle with.
But, nonetheless, Redmond has excited and not looked out of place.
And should he get the nod again in the return against Nacional in St Andrew’s biggest European night for 50 years, you can bet he will be spreading panic in the Portuguese defence.
“I’m happy for it to have come so quickly for me,” says Redmond, from Lea Village.
“But I am still learning from the experiences I’m getting in the games and I’m trying to push on and get better. I felt confident in the games I’ve played in. That’s just how I always am, to be fair.
“But in the second half at Middlesbrough I should have got on the ball a bit more. That’s something I need to work on. Stop having quiet patches in the game.”
Redmond became the second youngest player in Blues’ history at 16 years, 173 days – 34 days older than Trevor Francis was on his debut – when he came on as a substitute in the Carling Cup against Rochdale. That was a year ago this Friday.
Hughton says he still has rough edges, which is only natural.
Against Nacional’s Joao Aurelio in Madeira there were times when he made the wrong decisions and showed his age.
But overall he gave the full-back a tough time of it and Nacional struggled to keep a rein on him when he got into his dribbling stride (as did Boro’s Tony McMahon) – and all this with Redmond on the ‘wrong’ flank, the left.
Hughton says: “Nathan’s a boy that wants to play. He will have his ups and downs, his highs and lows. Not only because of his age, but because of the position he plays in.
“When you are a forward player, a winger like he is, what everybody wants to see him do every single time he gets the ball is take people on, beat people and be attractive.
“But you can’t always be that way. He has done some good things, but he’s up against good players as well remember.”