View from the Kop

Dani’s Dilemma could be difficult to solve Roy


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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  • Dave says:

    its very very simple, if roy rates him, one phone call and this all goes away, Dani wants to play, if roy doesnt want to play him, let him go

  • Guy says:

    he’s a stunning player. i watch a lot of the reserves and a front two of him and dalla valle would be awesome

  • phil says:

    I’ve watched all the under 19 championships and he’s been the best player there. He is DEFINATELY ready to be an key member of our squad. Him and Torres is a mouth watering prospect.

  • JJ says:

    Dani Pacheco is the best kid we have on our books and I would hate to see him go. I think he should have got more of a chance last year when N’gog was playing a lot even though I do rate N’gog Pacheco is going to be a great player and this is one of the reasons I dont think we actually need another forward after signing Milan if Roy is planning on playing 1 up front because we will have Kuyt,Jovanovic,N’gog and young Pacheco to cover Torres.

  • Jay says:

    David – You forgot that Cole was also brought in this season and he wants Aquilani/Gerrard’s place behind the striker too

    I think that Pacheco is a good player and deserves a chance to breakthrough at LFC, but Rafa wasted him last season and he has every right to look out for himself and seek a transfer elsewhere.

    btw Guy, Pacheco + LDV would arguably be the worst strike-force in the Premiership

  • James says:

    Has anyone ever told you that you blog too much?

    You cant go near newsnow these days for the amount of crap from here and tribalfootball.

  • Tinker says:

    We have 5 strikers in the 19-21 age bracket – Pacheco, N’gog, Nemeth, Dalla Valle and Ecclestone. We need 3 top top strikers in a squad containing 5 strikers. You can alsways have other U21s in the squad but frankly there is little chance they will play.

    I would argue that Jova, Kuyt and Babel should not be regarded as strikers, although they can be considered as ‘forwards’ if we played 4-3-3

    So, we need at least one other top striker if we play 4-4-2 which it seems we will. It seems at the moment N’gog is ahead of Nemeth (they are both 21 years old, but I think Nemeth will count as home grown and has enormous potential.

    Dalla Valle and ecclestone should lead the line in the reserves in my view, and because I think we need to see Nemeth this season, I would loan out Pacheco, but keep him in our long term plans – as he could turn into a Krkic in a season or two and then be woth a lot of money or good enough for the 1st team as one of the top 3 strikers i.e. to play 30 games a season (starting or as sub).

  • nkk says:

    Roy will play Pacheco. i hope he has a word with the lad. he has played very well for spain u19s. looking really promising. got to be worthy of a place with the first team!!!!

  • Voland says:

    Tinker, I think Pacheco is way ahead of Nemeth in terms of talent and technical ability. I would rather loan out Nemeth once more and ease Pacheco into the Liverpool first team.

  • Andy H says:

    The lad has talent no doubt but and this must be realised by fans, the jump between the ressies and the 1st tem squd is huge. Personally I feel he is a 2nd striker, which means he’s up against Gerrard, Cole and Aquilani if Roy sticks with playing the 4-2-3-1. If he goes 4-4-2 his chances improve hugely as Roy has stated he sees Milan as a wide left player who can play up front, which leaves Nando, Kuyt, Babel (both of the Dutch lads could be argued to be more effective wide) and (by playing and scoring tonight N’Gog. Pacheco could easily fit into the squad in this respect, as he’s different to N’Gog, Kuyt and Babel, the question remains will Roy give him a go? Does he have the patience to wait a while? and will the money men snap up any offer?

  • philC says:

    All i can say is the kid is top quality, doesn’t matter where he plays, as long as Roy give him playing time against the least threatening teams in the PL or sub him in games we know we already won. Remember what the kid says “Above all I want game time or to fight for game time”. He’s not asking for much, just 30 to 40 mins playing time & the kid will be happy and will want to stay. Everyone complaining EPL is a long league, well then rest the star players once in a while & let these kids who are desperate some game time.

  • Ian mC says:

    It will be a shame if Pacheco goes but with the players ahead of him in the position he plays I just cannot see him being given what he craves, first team football. however have not yet seen what Roy’s real ideas are so there maybe hope.

  • Vinny says:

    It all comes down to what formation Roy decides to go with. The first proper game he went with 4-5-1, not my favourite but it was mostly youngsters available so I understand.
    What we know is that Torres is best when he plays on his own.
    And if we want to play Gerrard and Aquilani together then there has to be another CM with them to protect the back four as neither should be asked to do the job.
    The other thing is we all want to see a more attacking side so the answer is simple.
    Play 4-3-3. The back four will be obvious once we get a LB. Then its DM, Gerrard and Aquilani in the middle. Torres in the CF role, Cole on the left forward spot and hopefully we’d buy a good left-footed wide player to play on the right forward. Very similar to Barcalona’s style. Pacheco would be Cole’s understudy. There problem solved.

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