Famewo could be City's next loan star, says Neil Adams
- Credit: PA
Akin Famewo is Norwich City’s loan star in the making, according to Neil Adams.
Speaking on Norwich City’s All in Yellow podcast, the Canaries loans manager highlighted how the 22-year-old defender is having a huge impact on Charlton in League One and could be the next loanee to come back and make the grade at Carrow Road.
Adams paid tribute to the way Daniel Farke is handling Famewo’s development as he admitted the City chief could have played it safe and kept the youngster around the Canaries’ first team squad this season.
However, City have taken a more long-term view on Famewo’s progression and Adams hopes City reap the benefit just as they did when they loaned out Ben Godfrey to Shrewsbury for the 2017/18 season.
“Akin has played seven games for Charlton and he’s had six clean sheets in a row, which is unheard of at that level,” said Adams. “Akin had a really successful loan at St Mirren – he played against Celtic and Rangers and he came back and he was close to being in our first team.
“It was another of those where I give a lot of credit to Daniel like with Ben Godfrey. When Ben went to Shrewsbury the easiest thing for Daniel would have been to have kept him here and had him on his bench in case someone got injured.
“If that had been the case, he probably would have played six or seven games but Daniel decided that we might risk not having him here but it might be better for him to go there and play 50 games so that he might be a regular for us rather than someone who is a good sub.”
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Adams revealed his pride at how he has developed his loans manager role at Norwich following his short stint as manager in 2014.
Adams, who masterminded the club’s FA Youth Cup victory in 2013, has helped the likes of James Maddison, Todd Cantwell and Godfrey develop away from Norwich to go on and become multi-million-pound players.
“I think it’s a role that more and more clubs are hiring people to do,” he said. “Every Premier League club has a loans manager now and I think 50 percent of the Championship has.
“It came about because when I was manager at the time, we had four or five players out on loan and if you had asked me how they were getting on I would have to admit that I didn’t really know.
“If you’re going to throw a lot of money at an academy it’s got to be done thoroughly and properly and that’s why the role was created.
“When I was speaking to (then chief executive) David (McNally) about the new role he said ‘you create it, you shape it and you run it’.
“It has developed now where I would like to think we are viewed now as good as any at doing this.”
Adams admits it is an artform to place the right player with the right club on loan, highlighting how Todd Cantwell’s development accelerated during his loan spell with Fortuna Sittard in 2018.
“I know some people will ask why is one of our most promising players being shipped out to play in the Dutch second division? There’s an awful lot of research showing that it works – Todd Cantwell is a classic example,” said Adams, who has placed Sebastian Soto and Dan Adshead on loan to Dutch second tier side SC Telstar this campaign.
“Every player is individual. Todd had always been in Norfolk – he loves the place – he came into the academy at eight but he had known nothing but Norfolk and Norwich City.
“The Todd now to two or three years ago is totally different – he's different in his mentality and his physical build. Three years ago, he was a lot skinnier and certainly not as strong mentally as he is now.
“But we needed to toughen him up mentally a little bit. We didn’t need to toughen him up by throwing him out to a League Two club playing with the ball flying over his head all the time.
“I know the football over there really well and they all play out from the back. It ticked all the boxes in terms of Todd would be exposed to senior football, he would be getting the ball into his feet and able to showcase his ability. It would also get him out of Norfolk and make him fend for himself.
“It didn’t go particularly well to start with. He was a bit out of his comfort zone. I said to him – if you really throw yourself in and work hard and it’s still not right then we will get you back.
“He knuckled down and got in the team and he became their best player. He came back to us and developed into an England Under-21 international. If we had sent him to a kick it and rush League Two team we might not have the player we do now. We might have lost him.”
You can listen to the full All in Yellow podcast with Neil Adams on the club’s official YouTube channel.