Italian football website Calciomercato are suggesting that both Crystal Palace and Fulham are eyeing up a New Year move for Liverpool’s forgotten man Nathaniel Clyne but when taking the story at face-value, it’s difficult not to pick a multitude of holes.
Having been on the Eagles’ books as a child before breaking into the first-team and making more than 130 appearances in red and blue between 2008 and 2012, it’s fair to say that Clyne is something of a cult hero to supporters in SE25 but given the current make-up of Roy Hodgson’s first-team squad, it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to realise that right-back isn’t a position in which we’re lacking cover.
Following a monumental injury crisis towards the back end of the 2017-18 campaign, Roy Hodgson was given no option but to throw academy man Aaron Wan-Bissaka into the starting XI. It was a challenge the 20-year-old passed with flying colours, not looking back from that point on. Ignoring AWB’s meteoric rise to prominence, we are still blessed with experienced cover in the shape of both Joel Ward and Martin Kelly, leaving me baffled as to why we would even consider making a play for Clyne.
Sadly for Nathaniel, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s emergence has left him out in the cold at Anfield, with a single first-team appearance (against Chelsea in the EFL Cup back in September) to his name since the current season began. I don’t know enough at Fulham’s options on the right-hand side of defence to make a judgement call over their apparent interest but if Clyne is looking for a chance to cement himself in someone else’s starting XI, he’s unlikely to get much joy at Selhurst Park in the near future.
When Clyne first broke into the Palace side, there was the same sense of excitement over his potential as we’re currently experiencing with Wan-Bissaka. Whilst nostalgia is a wonderful thing, I think we can all agree that there are more pressing concerns personnel wise heading into January than any move to bring Clyney back to south London.