13 Apr 2012

PSV 'interested' in signing LFC striker. Should Kenny let him leave...?

Dubious press reports recently linked Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling with a potential move to Spurs in the Summer, and if reports today are to be believed, another of the club's young attacking players may be on the way out of Anfield.

According to Sky Sports:

"Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven are interested in a summer move for Liverpool striker Nathan Eccleston. Eccleston is thought to be open to the chance of playing in Holland's top flight".

Eccleston's Liverpool contract runs until the summer of 2013, but it's clear that he doesn't figure in Kenny Dalglish's plans, so what's the point in staying? He hasn't been given a single chance this season, and I doubt that is going to change next season.

Eccleston has been shunted out on loan three times in the last two years, and reserve team manager Borrell believes that these loan deals may not have been in Eccleston's best interest. He told LFC TV recently:

"My opinion is that he is someone who has been rushed into too many loan moves that were not so good or so productive for him as a player".

Borrell may have a point: Eccleston made only two senior appearances before being farmed out on loan for the first time (Huddersfield), and when he returned, he was sent on loan again (to Charlton Athletic) within a matter of months.

Five goals in 37 loan appearances suggests that Eccleston isn't really that consistent, but Borrell still seems to have great belief in the player:

"Nathan is a great player, and everyone knows about his quality. I am one of many people who has a great belief in him".

If Eccleston truly wants to develop his game, a move to a different club may be the best thing for him at this stage. As I've argued in the past, young attacking players are very rarely given chances in the first team at Liverpool. Let's look at the facts:

NB: When I refer to 'young player' here, I mean:

a) A homegrown youngster who progressed through the ranks.
b) A young player bought by the club for the youth set-up.

* No young, attacking player has made it through the youth ranks and into the first team since Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard in the late 1990s.

* In the last 10 years, Neil Mellor is the ONLY young attacking player to come through the youth set-up and be given a semi-regular chance in the first team, and even then he only managed 15 starts in 3 years.

* Jonjo Shelvey aside, no young attacking player has featured under Kenny Dalglish, but defenders and defensive midfielders have been given plenty of chances, i.e. Flanagan, Kelly, Spearing etc. (Shelvey went straight into the first team when he arrived, so it's debatable whether he was bought for the youth set-up anyway)

* In Rafa Benitez's entire 6-year reign, Eccleston, Neil Mellor and Dani Pacheco were the only attacking youth players given a chance in the first team.

* Under Houllier, the record of bringing through young attacking players was even worse (!)

* Conversely, Roy Evans gave Michael Owen his debut, and nurtured the likes of Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp.

I could go on, but the basic point is this: Young defenders and defensive midfielders seem to get all the chances at Liverpool; attacking midfielders and strikers hardly ever get given a chance in the first team

As such, Eccleston should seriously consider moving to PSV.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Not good enough,rather have morgo coming through!!

  2. Use him in a deal to sign Kevin Strootman, as we desperately need a creative centre midfielder in place of that donkey adam. I think a central midfield of gerrard/lucas and strootman would be just as good or on the way to becoming just as good as the gerrard/mascherano/alonso midfield we were once blessed with! Along with a quality winger such as marko marin or iker muniain and a top class striker that scores goals 4 fun. I honestly believe we would be a top class side if we made these signings and one that is capable of challenging for top 4 and will only get better over time in order to challenge for the title!

  3. Pro_Benitez_Cult9:46 pm, April 13, 2012

    Eccleston to PSV? The randomness of it all is stunning

  4. haven't seen enough of him to be honest.
    i presume pacheco will be staying in spain,another good prospect who never quite looked good enough when given a chance.

  5. It's easier to "manufacture" a good defender, positioning is a major attribute

    Good attacking players are harder to create, natural talent is a bigger factor, so that might explain it. You need to unearth real gems, we took our eye off the ball when Houllier was about. Everton discovered all the local talent, imagine how we'd have fared with Rooney for the last 6-7 years

  6. Borrell has also been playing Eccleston down the left wing as well, I have said he his the closet player we have to Daniel Sturridge! Eccleston's pace alone would be useful from the bench and should be given a chance to prove himself. He should be ahead of Morgan and others because of his age, 22 this year and needs to be playing first team football.

  7. Finally a good article from Jamie..

  8.  By good i mean, with proper reasoning...

  9. Kenny,i dont know how you do it.Great game!!.Well done from the scousers in Canada.Just wish they could carry it over into BPL.Three star selection 1 suarez 2carrol 3 stevie G.HM to Bellamy.Well done lads.