Where do Liverpool and Daniel Pacheco go from here?

Liverpool’s Daniel Pacheco is a strange case. It’s hard to know what to make the 20-year-old, who first had fans and pundits sitting up and taking notice a couple of seasons ago, but has only impressed sporadically since. We’ve seen through his work in the reserve and youth team set-ups, that this youngster has undeniable talent. This talent has had fans tipping the youngster to become a regular part of the first team squad, something that has yet to happen.

Managers have come and gone and still Pacheco has yet to figure despite being an important part of the Spanish U21’s squad and making waves in Liverpool’s reserves. All the attention surrounding him combined with a lack of opportunity saw him loaned out to Norwich City. Yet, after a promising start to his tenure with the Canaries, Pacheco has found himself operating once more as a benchwarmer. The loan move designed to further his career is at this stage only holding him back.

Pacheco’s a strange case, because despite the adulation that surrounds him, he just hasn’t done enough to merit more time with the first-team squad. I grant that thus far his appearances have been short and only as a sub, but when he has played, he hasn’t provided his managers with enough food for thought. Contrast his contributions to the likes of Martin Kelly, Jack Robinson and John Flanagan who were quickly able to establish that they had the raw potential necessary to make it as a future Liverpool star.

Yet, I can’t help but feel that Liverpool would regret it were they to let him go. I have no doubt of his talent; he merely needs to develop the maturity to showcase it on bigger stages than at U21 and reserve levels. Of course, not every player bursts onto the scene in the manner of Jack Wilshere and looks like a world class player at just 18-years-old. Pacheco, 20-years-old, is still young and needs time and the confidence of his manager to nurture him.

With that aim, Liverpool should seek to loan him out for another season. If they can’t get a Premier League club to take him (or agree that he’ll play X number of games in the season) then Kenny Dalglish should let Norwich keep hold of him for another year. He’ll get plenty of game-time there, opportunities to impress and get established as a member of a first-XI and see how things develop from there.

It’d be great to see him go to a club like Bolton, who spurred on Jack Wilshere’s development, but Liverpool have to be realistic and ensure that Pacheco winds up at a club that will offer him regular games. At the moment Pacheco has both time and ability on his hands, but Liverpool will have to handle his situation with great caution if they are to get the most out of him.

Read more of Harry’s articles at This Is Futbol