Could a Luton-born left-back be Northern Ireland’s next big thing?
In December 2017, Jamal Lewis made his debut for Norwich City coming on as a substitute for Marco Stiepermann against Brentford.
On Boxing Day that year, Lewis made his first start for the Canaries against Birmingham City. It was a successful debut for the defender, as his side ran out 2-0 winners.
Before football however, Lewis was a national athletics champion, competing in 1500m and 800m races.
At the end of the 2016-17 season, after playing for Norwich’s U23s, Lewis signed a new contract with the club until 2021.
The left-back scored his first senior goal for the Canaries in the 93rd minute of an FA Cup 3rd round replay against Chelsea. The game finished 1-1 thanks to his goal and remained level at the end of extra-time. Unfortunately for Lewis and his teammates, Chelsea were victorious winning 5-3 on penalties.
Though born in Luton, Lewis is eligible to play for Northern Ireland through his mother.
June 2017 saw the young left-back called up to the Northern Ireland U21 squad. He made his debut against Estonia on the 8th June.
The 2017-18 season was somewhat of a breakout season for Lewis, featuring 24 times for Norwich in all competitions.
You could say 2018 has been a great year for the defender. This year has seen him become a first-team regular for the Canaries, but also make his debut for the Northern Ireland national team.
On March 12th Lewis was called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the first time. He made his debut for the Green and White army in a 2-1 friendly win over South Korea 12 day later.
To date he has made three appearances for the national team.
Looking at this season, the left-back has made seven appearances (as of writing), and will be looking to emulate the amount he made last season.
Norwich fans seem to rate him very highly and I can see why. At a young age, he looks very comfortable playing in England’s second tier, as well as featuring on the international stage.
Here’s a tweet from one Norwich fan giving their view on the academy graduate.
— Rach (@Rach_NCFC) September 23, 2018
There’s no denying the 20-year-old has a big future ahead of him. He possesses a decent amount of pace, agility and stamina. Three attributes that could see him go far.
There are rumours that some Premier League clubs are interested in his services, could we see him in England’s top-tier come 2019? Only time will tell.