Dani Pacheco has expressed his frustration about the lack of first team opportunities at Liverpool. With the purchases of Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, on top of all the other midfielders already at the club, the Spaniard is justifiably questioning where his future lies.
Pacheco has had a frustrating couple of seasons since making his debut for Liverpool in 2009, and it must be said that at 20 years of age, he now deserves the opportunity to get some solid first team appearances.
Currently, his progression at Liverpool is blocked by the plethora of players who can play in his best position. Dani prefers to play in an attacking midfield/withdrawn striker role, and it is unfortunate for him that the Reds are well overstocked in this position currently with Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles, Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey all capable of playing the role.
Even if Aquilani and Cole do depart the club, and we even assume that Adam and Henderson play more withdrawn roles in midfield, Pacheco still has Gerrard, Meirles and Shelvey in his way. Shelvey, in particular is a favourite of Dalglish’s, and has already shown promise in the first team, which makes it unlikely that Pacheco will be able to displace him in the pecking order.
If we look outside his favourite position back on to the wing, there are greater possibilities for Pacheco, but still there are great obstacles in his path for first team action. Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez and perhaps Jordan Henderson would be ahead of Dani on the right, while Stewart Downing will be Liverpool’s first choice on the left with Maxi as is probable understudy. The wide left position maybe his best chance of first team action if Downing is sidelined, but even then Dalglish may opt for other options.
The annoying thing about the Pacheco situation is the fact he really hasn’t been given the chance to shine on a long term basis. He was introduced by Rafa Benitez into the first team via sub appearances, and Roy Hodgson only ever picked him to in the League Cup and occasionally in the Europa League. Dalglish therefore sent him out on loan to Norwich City.
Pacheco certainly made an impact at Carrow Road, and there was hope that he could return there to be part of Paul Lambert’s plans in the Premier League, but that now seems unlikely. Dani has apparently rejected a move to Coventry already, and I don’t think another spell in the Championship would help the Reds to know whether he can cut it at the top level anyway.
He needs a loan at a Premier League club, but no offers seem forthcoming as of yet. If I were Kenny Dalglish, I would be phoning the likes of Brendan Rodgers at Swansea and Roberto Martinez at Wigan, where they try to play an attractive attacking brand of football, extolling the virtues of taking Pacheco on loan. This is the sort of test that Dani needs to see what he is capable of. Will he get it? We will have to wait and see.
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