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'We've Never Seen The Robbie Brady That Plays For Ireland In A Norwich Shirt'

'We've Never Seen The Robbie Brady That Plays For Ireland In A Norwich Shirt'
By PJ Browne Updated

It's highly probable that Robbie Brady will leave Norwich during the January window. Many Norwich fans believe that, talented Brady may be, but it would probably be for the best if the club cashes in on the player as soon as possible.


Negativity from Norwich fans regarding Brady may stem from a feeling that they've never seen the best of him. Supporters have witnessed what he's done in an Ireland shirt but those performances have been rarely replicated when he pulls on the yellow of Norwich.

Norwich corresponent Paddy Davitt says fans had high expectations for Brady coming into this season but those have not been met.

Coming down a level, most Norwich fans were looking at Brady thinking he should be one of the standout players at Championship level. He hasn't really reached those heights on a regular basis.

Everybody can see what a good player he is and what's done for the Republic at the Euros last summer. I think the reality is - and I don't think it's uncharitable to say - that we've seen never the Robbie Brady that plays for Ireland in a Norwich shirt.

Just going back two months ago, they beat Wolves 2-1, it was on Sky. He scored the winner, an unbelievable finish. The ball was touched back to him on the edge of the box and he swept it into the top corner - a goal of real genuine quality.

Alex Neil came out afterwards and basically said he's told Robbie, 'We need more from you. We need more of that because we know that's what you're capable of.'

I think that more or less encapsulates how he's been this season.

Brady's often disappointing performances for Norwich are possibly a result of manager Alex Neil's decision to play him at left-back. Davitt says it is a position where the 24-year-old has been 'found out'. Playing at left-back has likely skewed the perception of Brady's abilities.

We all know that his delivery from free kicks and corners it top drawer and that he's got an eye for goal. The problem is Alex Neil feels that he's a better left-back. A lot of Norwich fans have said 'Hold on, for the Republic he plays further forward.' Neil's logic and he's tried to explain it is that in the modern game full-backs are more or less attacking players anyway. They need to be offering that width and the overlapping threat.

There's a big body of evidence now that defensively he gets found out. His positional sense isn't what it should be. There are a lot of examples now, not just this season but last season too, where they've leaked goals and he's more or less been responsible.

That all flows into this idea that he's not producing what everyone knows he's capable of - what we've seen in an Ireland shirt and sporadically in a Norwich shirt.

Following some excellent performances at Euro 2016, it was presumed Brady would get a move to the Premier League. It did not materialise. Norwich's valuation of the player - somewhere in the region of £20 million - may have been a factor.


When he came back from the Euros, there was a lot of interest in him but Norwich put a massive valuation on him. The result of that was no one came in for him so he started the season here.

I think there's been this feeling - we're getting it now that the January window is open - that he doesn't want to be here and that he needs to be in the Premier League. There is that sense 'Is he committed to the cause?' Norwich need all hands to the pump to get back into the Premier League and there's a guy, to be honest, with his talent, who should be playing in the Premier League.

For whatever reason it didn't happen during the summer but it wouldn't be a huge surprise during this window to see him go. Maybe the time has come for him to go. I think that's where we are with him.

Norwich's asking price has reportedly been lowered since the summer months to £12 million, a far more appealing figure. Though Alex Neil said on Friday and there have been no bids, there is plenty of interest - as many as six or seven clubs.

Norwich play Southampton in the FA Cup today but Brady will not feature. He's serving the second game of a three-game suspension following a red card received against Brentford in New Year's Eve.

The Dubliner is contracted until 2018 but Norwich have an option to extend that to 2019, putting them in the driving seat when it comes to selling.

We were down the training ground on Friday and Alex Neil said there were no firm bids but it's no secret that there have been approaches. There are on-going discussions. There are agents there in the background. Clearly, there are clubs who are going to take him whether it be January or the summer. Norwich have an evaluation and Neil said it, if that evaluation is met then he'll go.

Norwich are in the situation now financially after coming out of the Premier League that if they want to bring in someone in January, they need to sell. Brady is, by some measure, their most saleable asset.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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