By Joe Nelson
New Southampton manager Claude Puel has challenged winger Nathan Redmond to emulate the great Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and transform himself from a winger to a prolific forward.
English talent Redmond, 22, signed for Southampton in a £10million deal this summer after his former club Norwich were relegated to the Championship.
Redmond only scored six goals in thirty-seven appearances from a wide position in the top-flight last season but Puel believes the best is yet to come.
Puel worked with Henry at Monaco in the 1990s and, ahead of the start of the Premier League kick-off on Saturday, the Frenchman drew similarities between the pair.
Speaking on Thursday, Puel claimed that he believes the 22-year-old’s future lies up front, where he can demonstrate his finishing ability.
“Nathan has the ability to shoot with his right foot and curl the ball beautifully,” Puel said to the Daily Mail. “He has this particular skill. They are two players where I see similarities in their speed and technical ability.
“I see Redmond here as having the qualities of a striker. He can shoot, dribble and make exciting things happen. He’s been a good surprise for me. It seems a pity or a waste to leave him on the right. He can play up front.”
Puel is not only an admirer of Redmond’s physical qualities but also his understanding of the game.
“He’s also mentally sharp, he has a good feel and reading of the game.” Puel added to the Mail. “His approach play and link-up with his team-mates are sharp and he has impressed. In France, we call Thierry ‘Titi’.”
In other Arsenal news, Arsene Wenger has ruled this player out of the Liverpool clash.