Name: Nathan Eccleston
Height: 5ft 10
Date of Birth: 30th Dec 1990
Place of Birth: Manchester
When you have finishing ability and pace with abundance, they are attributes that can help you go a long way in the professional game, and it is something that young Liverpool striker Nathan Eccleston will hope to be the case. Definitely one of the hottest prospects to come out of Liverpool’s youth academy, Eccleston has impressed at every level he has played at with his speed and eye for goal.
After joining from Bury at the age of 15, the young striker has progressed quickly through the youth ranks at Liverpool, scoring regularly at Under-18s level, and he fired the team, along with strike partner Lauri Dalla Valle, to the FA Youth Cup final last season. Despite having regular success with the Academy side, it was rumoured that Eccleston was apparently unhappy at the lack of progress he was making through the ranks and it was said he was stalling on a new contract as he looked for greater involvement. He had already made a scoring debut for the reserves back in the 2007/08 season, but he had seen most of his game time at the Academy, and his success at that level, meant that he felt he needed a move up to the reserves.
He was rewarded this season as Rafa Benitez moved him up to training at Melwood. He has not disappointed and after scoring two goals on his first start for the reserves this season in a 3-2 defeat against Blackburn Rovers, he has so far collected 5 goals in 9 reserve outings and has even had two appearances for the first team. In October 2009, he came on as a late second half substitute for Philipp Degen as the Reds sought to rescue a fourth round Carling Cup tie at the Emirates. 2-1 down, Eccleston came on the right hand side of midfield but couldn’t prevent the Merseysiders exiting the competition.
Rafa Benitez certainly had confidence in the player’s abilities and only three days later, he was given his Premier League debut when he came on against Fulham in a 3-1 defeat at Craven Cottage. The striker loves to run at defenders and he generally always has an end product. Whether it is a strike at goal or offloading the ball to a fellow team-mate, he can lead the line very well. He chases lost causes and always works hard for the team, although his aerial threat and his final pass could be improved upon and it is something he can work on in the coming months. His finishing ability, along with his pace, is undoubtedly his standout attribute and he can hit a rolling ball very cleanly and powerfully indeed.
It was great news back in January that he had signed a new two year contract. Benitez’s faith in his abilities have obviously played a part in him signing on for longer and Liverpool would not want to lose the player, especially with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers sniffing around. At the end of January 2010, Eccleston signed with League One side Huddersfield Town on loan until the end of the season.