Todd Cantwell: The Norfolk-Born Player’s Wait for International Recognition
Todd Cantwell is one of few players in recent years to come through the ever-impressive Norwich youth academy.
The 23-year-old, who was born in Dereham, is now a regular starter for the club. Under Daniel Farke’s management, Cantwell has established himself as one of English football’s most promising young players. As such, many believe that it’s only a matter of time before the midfielder gets his first international cap.
EURO 2020 Came Too Soon for the 23-Year-Old
For many up-and-coming footballers, representing their country on the international stage is the pinnacle of a player’s career, and Cantwell appears to have the same mentality, in addition to being in peak physical fitness. Despite Norwich’s relegation from the Premier League to the Championship in 2019-20, the 23-year-old gave a good account of himself in the top-flight and put himself in contention for a call-up.
However, even after the competition’s postponement, the European Championships just came too soon for Cantwell. Although he’s unlikely to make the final squad under Gareth Southgate, the current England manager, the Three Lions are 5/1 in EURO 2020 odds at Paddy Power to win the international tournament. Perhaps Cantwell can contribute next time round.
Prior to Norwich’s relegation in 2019-20, Cantwell told TalkSPORT that he hoped to be in a position to fight for an international spot in time for the EUROs. Southgate is no stranger to calling up Championship players, handing Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips his first cap off the back of the midfielder’s impressive second-tier campaign in 2019-20.
Unfortunately for the Norfolk-born midfielder, however, he plays in a position where the Three Lions have numerous options. Down the left-hand side of the field, Southgate can call on either Marcus Rashford or Raheem Sterling, who both have experience with England in international tournaments.
Being Back in the Premier League Will Help His Cause
Although Southgate isn’t opposed to handing opportunities to Championship players, Cantwell’s pursuit of his first international cap will unquestionably be aided by Norwich’s recent promotion back to the Premier League. In 2020-21, the Canaries scored 75 goals en route to collecting 97 points and finishing six points clear of second-placed Watford.
During Norwich’s table-topping campaign, the 23-year-old left winger appeared in 33 matches, scoring six goals and setting up a further seven in that time. It speaks volumes about Cantwell’s influence on Farke’s team that he played a direct role in 17 percent of Norwich’s total goals.
From a club level, question marks are hanging over Cantwell’s future at Carrow Road. While the club won’t want to lose their star winger, Stuart Webber, the team’s sporting director, admitted that the Canaries may sell one of their sought-after players to fund their return to the Premier League. Now that Norwich is back in the top-flight, it’s unlikely that any of their main stars will look to jump ship, but the club’s financial interests may be at the forefront of any outgoing decisions.
It’s Only a Matter of Time for Cantwell
During Cantwell’s last Premier League season, he scored six goals and assisted two more. With that experience under his belt, he’ll be ready to showcase his talent and take his game to the next level in 2021-22. But whatever happens regarding his international future, he’s putting Norfolk back on the footballing map.