A real shame.
Andrew Omobamidele had quite the 2021. He went from helping his team secure promotion to the Premier League, getting his first Ireland call-up, impressing hugely on the international stage, to then starting (and scoring) in the Premier League.
However, this meteoric rise has steadied off since Dean Smith arrived at Norwich from Aston Villa.
The new manager has got off to a really impressive start, with one win and two draws under his belt since he joined the Canaries.
However, it has come at the expense of Omobamidele, to an extent.
Dean Smith impact on Andrew Omobamidele
The young Irishman was crucial in helping Norwich get their first win of the season against Brentford, but he hasn’t started a game since Smith’s arrival.
The former Villa manager did address the fact that Omobamidele had done nothing wrong, but insisted he wanted experience in Ben Gibson and Grant Hanley.
Speaking last week, he said: “Andrew had been in the team against Brentford and played really well. I just felt the understanding between Grant and Ben and the experience they had and the balance of being a right and left-footer would help us against Southampton.
“I thought they defended the penalty box really well. Yes, there were mistakes and that is what we have to iron out.
“I want competition and I’m sure we will get that with Andrew and Ozan (Kabak) pushing so for me it is great the competition is there and Ben and Grant know they have to be at the top of their games.”
Dean Smith Andrew Omobamidele
It does make sense that Smith, so soon after arriving, is going with experience instead of exciting youth. But it’s still a pity that Omobamidele is being left out of the Starting XI despite having not done anything wrong.
If he had made a string of errors it may be easier to deal with, but at just 19, we understand why Smith is going with experience in such a crucial relegation battle.
There is of course the potential that either Gibson or Hanley will get injured or be suspended at some point throughout the rest of the season. From there it’s on Omobamidele to make that jersey his own.