Liverpool’s young Spanish starlet Dani Pacheco was quoted in El Mundo Deportivo today about his future. His success playing for Spain at the European U19 Championships where he has scored four goals, has seen him attract attention from La Liga, specifically Real Sociedad. Pacheco said:
“Of course, playing for Real (Sociedad) appeals to me, without doubt. I have heard good things about the club, the city and the people, and if things move in that direction, I will be happy to play there. He (Xabi Alonso) has been helping and advising me. I’ve been told good things about the coach. They say he bets on youngsters who have character, who like to play. . . I don’t know much about the negotiations, I’d like to play in La Liga. Above all I want game time or to fight for game time. In Liverpool I won’t get this opportunity and I would love to have it. Right now the club are signing people and I don’t think I will have opportunities. At 19 years old the most important thing is to continue progressing.”
It is entirely understandable that Pacheco would want greater playing time. With his abilities, he probably feels he has the capabilities of really making it at the top level and he won’t want to be sitting on the bench at Liverpool for the next few years. A return to your home country always looks attractive, and you don’t have to go far, e.g.Fran Merida to Atletico Madrid from Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas, to see there could be a strong desire on Pacheco’s part to return home.
The particular attraction of Real Sociedad also looks to be something that interests Pacheco. With it being former Liverpool player, and friend, Xabi Alonso’s hometown club, and the fact the newly promoted La Liga side are looking for fresh blood and young homegrown Spaniards to start the campaign, the possibilities in Dani’s mind for first team football are promising.
At the end of the day, a footballer wants to play football, and Roy Hodgson will have to use his persuasive abilities once again when Pacheco returns to Melwood after the European U19 Championships. I have no doubts that Roy will identify Dani’s supreme talents straight away and will say to the youngster that he will feature in the club’s first team plans next season. After all, the Premier League quota system means he is even more likely to play, as beyond the 25 registered senior players, Hodgson will be allowed to use as many under 21s as he likes, including Pacheco.
But will this be enough for Pacheco to want to stay? This is a difficult question to answer. The prospect of first team football in the top league in your home country maybe hard to resist but Hodgson must reassure Pacheco that he can realise his dreams on Merseyside. Although he has had little choice, Hodgson has already shown he is not shy in praising and using youngsters if they are ready, and Pacheco will surely be at the top of youngsters ready for first team action.
The question may arise as to what harm a season loan spell at Real Sociedad could do but I think it is imperative that the kid stays in England, if we want him to stay a Liverpool player. A return to Spain would increase his desire to stay beyond a year and many Spanish clubs would want to take the player off our hands. If he wants to go there would be little Liverpool could do to keep him but to get the highest fee possible for him. If he is to be loaned out at all, another Premier League club would be more appropriate, but I think he could contribute at Liverpool next season if he shows he is capable.
If we keep with Rafa’s formation, I would be eyeing Alberto Aquilani’s position in the team as the possible area where Pacheco could feature on occasion. When either Aqua’s injured or out of form, Pacheco could slot unseemingly into that position if Roy thinks he is ready. Attacking midfield will be the position Pacheco could make his name in the future, small and technically gifted like Iniesta, he can provide through balls and be a massive irritation for opposition defences. It will be interesting to see what Hodgson makes of him and whether he believes he is good enough to make any sort of impact on the team.
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