‘Forever thankful’ - Lewis grateful to City but was desperate to stay in the Premier League
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Jamal Lewis has thanked Norwich City for the opportunities which allowed him to flourish as a full international and earn a swift return to the Premier League with Newcastle.
The 22-year-old sealed a move to the top-flight Magpies on Wednesday, in a deal worth an initial £15million with potential add-on fees to follow.
The left-back joined the Canaries as a 16-year-old after he’d left hometown club Luton and after making his debut at 19 for City, he made 100 appearances and was a pivotal part of the squad which won the Championship title in 2019.
“It’s been vitally important in my career, having a manager and a system that trusts young players and throws them into the deep end,” Lewis said, speaking to NUFC TV.
“It’s been a great experience there, playing with not just with people that I love playing with but people that I consider real friends for life, which is something that you can’t really take for granted.
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“It’s a great environment for young players to thrive and if you do great you get great opportunities. So I’m forever thankful for them.”
The Northern Ireland international suffered a painful Premier League relegation with Norwich last season, making 28 top flight appearances and scoring once - having to be patient for two months mid-season after Sam Byram originally stepped in as injury cover but performed well at left-back.
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“Once I’d tasted the Premier League I just felt like there was no going back,” Lewis continued. “I knew that week in, week out, I had to put performances in for my team to showcase myself and show the Premier League what I can do.”
The defender was also able to get advice from two of his City colleague about the north-east club, with goalkeeper Tim Krul and captain Grant Hanley formerly with Newcastle.
“I spoke a lot with Tim Krul and Grant Hanley,” Lewis added. “They had nothing but great words to say about the club, how big it is, the expectation but also the love you can get from the fans by putting in the hard work and graft.
“It’s a great place that I’m looking forward to thriving at.”