Dean Smith has backed Norwich City striker Josh Sargent to make a Premier League and US National Team return if he can stay injury-free. 

The former Canaries boss coached Sargent during his time at the helm at Carrow Road and is now the head coach of MLS side Charlotte FC, having left Leicester City last summer after their relegation to the Championship. 

Sargent has found goal-scoring form in the second tier this season in spite of an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for four months. 

Since his return to action late last year, Sargent has netted seven goals in ten matches and has lifted Norwich to within touching distance of the play-offs. 

Smith rated Sargent highly during his tenure at Norwich and has backed him to return to the top flight, providing he can maintain his fitness in the coming months. 

"He can go and play in the EPL (Premier League) again, that's for sure. He's not got a ceiling at the moment," Smith told CBS Sports. 

"Unfortunately, he's had a couple of injuries. He's just come back and started to score goals again in the Championship with Norwich.

"He's actually really mature for somebody who is so young. He moved countries at a very young age twice - first to Germany and then to England. He's married with a child, but he is a really good footballer with a really good head on his shoulders.

"If he can stay injury-free, then I think he'll think he will be a certainty in the US National Team." 

Smith celebrated a victory in his first game in charge of MLS side Charlotte at the weekend, beating New York City 1-0. 

The former City boss revealed that he turned down Championship advances to move to the States - where he is looking to reignite his managerial career after his departure from Carrow Road in December 2022. 

"I've only attended a couple of MLS games before I came here, and one of them was in the early 2000s at LA Galaxy," Smith said. 

The Pink Un: Josh Sargent scored 11 goals in 41 matches under ex-Norwich City boss Dean Smith.Josh Sargent scored 11 goals in 41 matches under ex-Norwich City boss Dean Smith. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

"The other was 18 months ago at Charlotte FC. I met the general manager before and went to watch them against Red Bull - I really enjoyed the stadium, the setup and the support. It stuck with me.

"I was head coach at Norwich at the time in the Premier League, but since then, things have changed. I had some opportunities to manage in the Championship, but they didn't quite take my fancy and weren't as challenging or fit my ambitions as this one did.

"I've never coached outside the UK before so it was an opportunity to pit my wits in a different culture and league - it really enticed me."