Not afraid to take a risk on the pitch, the outrageously talented winger isn’t afraid to look different off it either

Words By David Preece

England’s golden generation have come and gone without making any meaningful marks on the international game, with major tournaments only serving as a procession of disappointments. It’s now time for a new breed of player to take up those reins. A new breed of young, exciting, hungry players have arrived, free to strive for success without the millstone of failure hung round their necks to hold them back. The progress already made at international level by the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha is proof enough that Roy Hodgson is willing to give the exuberance of youth it’s chance and the good news is there’s more talent ready to drop off the production line. Step forward Birmingham City’s Nathan Redmond.

Eighteen-year-old wideman, Nathan Redmond, burst on to the scene making his debut for Birmingham at just sixteen and his progress to first team regular has been as rapid as the man himself. He is gifted with the pace and skill to frighten the most experienced of defenders yet his physical talents are still no match for his self-belief. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance but Redmond possesses a healthy mix of both which has lead clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham to take a closer look at one of England’s most promising footballing talents.

Topman Generation: How would you describe your style and how you dress?
Nathan Redmond: Brave. Yeah, definitely brave. When I walk out the house my mum always ask me “Are you sure about that?” or when I meet my friends it takes a little time for them to react and they ask “Are you serious with what you’re wearing?” Although they do admit I manage to pull it off.

Topman Generation: Is that because you want to be a bit different and stand out from the crowd?
Nathan Redmond: I suppose so. More than anything I just wear things that I think look good. It doesn’t matter what brand it is, it’s all about how it looks regardless of what other people think. I'm not blinded by labels though.

Topman Generation: So, you mentioned that you garner the most attention from your teammates for how you dress, does that mean you come in for a bit of stick too?
Nathan Redmond: Yeah, every now and again I’ll wear something that’s a little bit rascal and I’ll get a bit of banter from the lads, but I don’t care if I think I’ve pulled it off. It’s just part of my arrogance, I think, and I find it quite funny that I get such a reaction.

 
I like the way Ronaldo carries himself on and off the pitch. He’s just the complete package

Topman Generation: Are there any people out there whose style you admire or maybe model your look on?
Nathan Redmond: I like the way Ronaldo carries himself on and off the pitch. He’s just the complete package. And David Beckham. I like how well groomed Beckham is. He’s got real, real style. Away from football I like Kanye West. He can come out in the most bizarre stuff sometimes but somehow he makes it look good and manages to carry it off. I like that.

Topman Generation: Is it important for you to look good when you’re playing?
Nathan Redmond: I think it’s the same in everyday life. It’s the old cliche, if you look good, you feel good and that what I’m like. I’m a naturally confident person but if I’m stepping out the house with a fresh new haircut or new clothes you feel that little bit better and it’s the same on the pitch. I like going out there wearing the newest model of the F50 that Adidas have sent me. People might look at me and say ”Oh, look at him. He’s a bit flash.” but again, that doesn’t bother me as long as I feel good then it will help my performance. You get a few old school managers who prefer you to where traditional black boots or they tell you it doesn’t matter what boots you wear it’s what in them that counts. Well that may be true but if that’s the case then they shouldn’t be bothered if I want to wear white boots or whatever. If you feel good in what you’re wearing then it’s beneficial to the him and the team.

 
I’ve had to change my life quickly and mature quite a bit after coming into the first team at an early age

Topman Generation: Is there anything you especially like to do when you have time off from playing football?
Nathan Redmond: I just like spending time with my family and friends. I’m 18 now and most of my friends are either at university or out working so when I get the chance I just want to hang around with them and catch up. You know, go bowling or going out for something to eat, just normal stuff. I’ve had to change my life quickly and mature quite a bit after coming into the first team at an early age. My friends have time to mature but because of the football environment and the expectations put on you, football moulds you that bit faster and it’s nice just to hang out with the friends I grew up with and relax.

Topman Generation: What are you driving? 
Nathan Redmond: I’ve just got an Audi A3. I did have a Mini just before that, which I really liked. It was just like driving a dodgem but, yeah, I’m loving Audi’s right now.

Topman Generation: What music do you listen to and who’s your favourite artist?
Nathan Redmond: I love all kinds of music and I will listen to anything but I especially like RnB. I just stick my iPod on shuffle on let it play and I just listen to whatever comes on. If you pushed me to pick out one artist it’d have to be Jay Z.

Topman Generation: You’re on Twitter. Are you a Twitterholic?
Nathan Redmond: Not really. If I have a day off I’ll sit and look through all my @’s and try to reply to them all. I like doing that because it makes me more approachable I guess. I get the odd negative one but that’s Twitter for you. Everyone has to deal with it. I’ve actually got a lots of fans from other clubs who follow me, even from Villa and that’s what I like about it. It makes it interesting.

 
I've always looked out for Arsenal’s results because I loved Ian Wright and Thierry Henry and the way they played football

Topman Generation: You’re a Birmingham lad, did you support them as a kid?
Nathan Redmond: If I’m honest, not really. I’ve played here since I was nine years old and would come and watch the games but I didn’t really have one team which I supported. I just loved watching all football on TV. I've always looked out for Arsenal’s results because I loved Ian Wright and Thierry Henry and the way they played football.

Topman Generation: I’ve played against you before and kept an eye on how well you’ve done so far. Are things going how you expected up to now?
Nathan Redmond: I never thought I’d be where I am now, if I’m honest. Since I started training here when I was nine, I’ve just wanted to enjoy my football and I’m amazed how well things have gone

Topman Generation: You scored the goal against Serbia which took England U19’s through to the 2013 World Cup. Would you say that’s the best moment in your career so far?
Nathan Redmond: International wise, I’d have to say yes but I also scored for the under 17’s in a 2-1 win against Spain which was pretty special. It was a team that included Nick Powell, Raheem Sterling and Nathaniel Chalobah and Spain are probably the best at that age so it was a great win. My most treasured moment so far was my first senior goal for Birmingham. It’s a moment that will always be special. It was at home to Blackpool in a 3-0 win. I smashed a shot from outside the box which flew in and it was just a mx of joy and relief. I’ll never forget it.

Topman Generation: Now that you are catching the eye of other clubs, what do you think the future holds for you now?
Nathan Redmond: If a big club comes for me then I’ll deal with it then. It’s not a subject I’ll shy away from because if I play well there’s always a chance it could happen. Everyone wants to play in the Premier League and I’m no different from any other player but I don’t think the Championship gets the credit it deserves. Look at Wilfried Zaha. He’s getting England recognition and it gives hope to others in his division that they can do it to. At the minute, I’m loving playing for Birmingham and I just want to develop my game here and if I keep doing that I’m sure I’ll get that same recognition too.

Nathan Redmond wears the new adidas adizero f50 - the fastest boot in football. Join the Twitter conversation @adidasfootball