The Rise and Fall of Nathaniel Clyne

An insight to the career of Liverpool’s forgotten man,who looks likely to leave on a free transfer this summer. He began his career at then-Championship outfit Crystal Palace,where he played regularly in 4 Championship seasons. He made his first team debut in a 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park vs Barnsley on the 18th October 2008.

The Palace squad that day featured Veteran Keeper Julian Speroni; ex Southampton and West Ham defender Jose Fonte and current Inter winger Victor Moses. Two days later, he signed a 3 year pro contract with then-manager Neil Warnock, stating that he “has a bright future in the game.” He scored his first career goal in the seventh minute of a 4-2 win vs Reading on the 8th December 2009.

2 months later he was wanted by Mick McCarthy, who was then in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the right back rejected without even entering talks with the ex Republic of Ireland manager. In the 2010-11 season, Clyne became the youngest player in the Football League to play every match of that campaign. In that season he won Palace’s Player of the Year Award.

On July 19th 2012, Clyne signed a 4-year deal with newly promoted Southampton. His debut came exactly a month after he signed in a 3-2 loss to Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. He would have to wait 6 days for his home debut which was another defeat, this time a 2-0 loss to Wigan Athletic.

His first goal for the Saints and only his second career goal came in a 4-1 home win against Aston Villa, Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez got the assist with then England U21 coach Stuart Pearce in attendance.

His second Southampton goal came on the 4th January 2014, lashing home from 25 yards in a 4-3 FA Cup 3rd round win against Burnley. In Southampton’s first match of the 2014-15 season, Clyne was on the score sheet against future employers Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat at Anfield on August 17th 2014. A few months later, the Stockwell born full back got on the end of a Ryan Bertrand cross to earn a point for Southampton in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

Liverpool Football Club confirmed the signing of Nathaniel Clyne on the 1st July 2015 for a fee of £12.5 million on a 5 year contract (which expires this summer). His first club, Crystal Palace, received a sum of £2.5 million for the right back.

Clyne had to wait 40 days to make his competitive debut,a 1-0 away win at Stoke City. His first goal in a Red shirt came in a League Cup victory against AFC Bournemouth with him netting the only goal. He had to wait until Valentines Day 2016 to score his first and only Premier League goal for Liverpool, which came in a 6-0 bashing of Aston Villa.

In March 2016, Liverpool played fierce rivals Manchester United in a European game for the first time. Clyne won a penalty in the first leg, which was converted by Daniel Sturridge and conceded one in the second leg; which was scored by Antony Martial. He played the full 90 minutes as the Reds were defeated 3-1 by Sevilla in Basel.

Prior to the 2017-18 season,Clyne suffered a back injury expected to keep him out until February 2018. This signaled the rise of Academy prospect Trent Alexander-Arnold and the fall of Nathaniel Edwin Clyne. Due to Clyne’s injury, this gave Alexander-Arnold the chance to rotate with youngster Joe Gomez. This led to the young Scouser putting in some excellent performances especially in the 2018 Champions League Final, where he was tasked with marking one of the world’s best Cristiano Ronaldo.

Despite the scoreline,the young full back performed admirably. This signaled that it would take some serious work for Clyne to dislodge Trent. The youngster didn’t stop in the 2018-19 season, elevating his game by providing many assists for team mates.

Surprisingly, Clyne was named as a starter in a 3-1 win over Manchester United,on the 16th December 2018. He performed well. 19 days later, he was shipped out on loan to Bournemouth for the remainder of the season. He made his debut a day later in a 3-1 FA Cup exit to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Clyne was born in Stockwell, England, but is of Grenadian descent. He made 17 caps for the youth teams and 14 for the senior team. His international career seems to be over as he is behind Trent Alexander Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the right back pecking order.

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