View from the Kop

A Youth Issue That Really Needs To Be Resolved


Loan spells are an essential part of any young player’s development. It provides not only the player himself with much needed first team football early in his career, but it also gives the clubs the opportunity to test their youth players’ abilities a bar or two above what they are used to at reserve or under 18 level. Liverpool have utilised this option for their youth stars this season with Tom Ince and Stephen Darby going out on loan to Notts County, Victor Palsson going to Dagenham & Redbridge, Daniel Ayala on loan to Hull, and now Nathan Eccleston to Charlton today.

The departure on loan of Nathan Eccleston to the Addicks today got me thinking about the quality of the loan deals that the Reds are getting for their young guns. Last season, young striker Eccleston was sent out on loan to League One side Huddersfield Town for the last six months of the season. He scored on his debut against Yeovil Town and everything seemed positive for a fruitful loan spell at the Terriers, but after a Red card against Gillingham, he was invariably used as a substitute and only started four games on his loan at the club. On top of this, Eccleston was more often than not played on the wings rather than his most natural position up front and he gained little by having to come on with 20 minutes to go while playing out of position.

In my opinion, Eccleston gained very little from this loan experience and would have been better served staying at Melwood and continuing to play in the reserves. He showed in his fleeting appearances in the Europa League this season that with his pace and ability, he is a real talent, and hopefully his spell at Charlton will see him have more first team opportunities. It was said that the Reds turned down offers from clubs in higher divisions so it suggests that he will be given more game time. However, I think there must be a fundamental change in how our youngsters go out on loan.

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  • Hannah says:

    very true i think we should loan players out but recall them if they arnt getting gmaes

    for example if pacheco or suso got loaned they wud get games where as people like saric wudnt

  • Kwrs says:

    Ecclestone going to Charlton got nothing to do with Liverpool turning down offers from other clubs.

    This is part of the deal that took Shelvey to Anfield and which contained the clause that Liverpool would offer the South London club a supply of young or reserves team players on loan.

    A lot of reds supporters think its about time Liverpool delivered on that deal and hope this is the first of many.

  • John Robinson says:

    It works both ways.

    Martin Kelly also went to Huddersfield, proved himself and got games, and returned a better player.

    Eccleston by comparison looked lightweight, disinterested and nothing like a striker, he didn’t deserve to be getting starts.

    Town aren’t a babysitting club, they are (and were) a team fighting for promotion…it’s a proper league down here too full of clubs fighting to get out of it, it’s not meaningless reserve football.

    Add to that a disgraceful display of petulence when subbed in one of his early appearances, he had a lot of work to do to EARN a place. Wish him well though, he seemed to settle down a bit towards the end of his spell with us…hopefully it was a learning experience.

    I think what you need to understand is just because these lads have come through the Liverpool system, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re GOOD ENOUGH to play top end of League 1 football. You don’t really find out until you throw them in…with Kelly it was obvious he was good enough quite quickly…with Eccleston he didn’t look the part – I’ll be very surprised if he ever becomes a regular with Liverpool.

    (I am a Hudds Town fan)

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