Nathan Ecclestone recently caused a stir within the media after he refused to sign a contract extension with Liverpool. The striker, who is 18-years-old, has made only a handful of appearances for the Merseyside club therefore eyebrows were raised when the youngster turned down a Liverpool’s offer. Football fans are now familiar with Eccleston’s name thanks to this incident however many may not know too much about the young striker as a footballer and from what I have seen, the hype should be believed.
Ecclestone signed from League Two club Bury in 2006, at 15-years-of-age and has since been developing his game in the Liverpool youth academy and reserve set-up. Ecclestone is an energetic striker whose pace and acceleration will cause any defence problems. He is able to play in a centre forward role as well as being able to drift in from the flank. He thrives on running at defenders with pace and is able to strike the ball well with both feet, as can be seen below in his two goals for the reserves against Blackburn Rovers.
Ecclestone is an exciting player and Liverpool fans will be hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard and break his way into the first team at Anfield. He has made only one league appearance this season, coming on as a substitute in the 3-1 loss against Fulham, but at 18 years of age, has time on his side and with his talent it is surely only a matter of time before the striker is given more opportunities by manager Rafa Benitez. Big things are expected of the Manchester-born forward who has impressed in the reserves, scoring on his second string debut against Bolton as well as a brace against Blackburn Rovers.
Although things may not be going to plan for the Benitez’s side in the Premier League so far this season, Liverpool fans will be feeling optimistic about their current academy, which contains such talents as Daniel Pacheco, Krisztian Nemeth and Daniel Ayala. Ecclestone’s chances of first team football at Anfield are likely to become more frequent in 2010 and the youngster will be looking to impress the Anfield faithful with his performances when given the chance.
Eccelstone’s two goals for the reserves Vs Blackburn Rovers.