Will Dani Pacheco ever make it at Liverpool?

Posted by

By Tom Noon

Dani Pacheco had a youth career that few could dream of. He rose
through the ranks of the prestigious Barcelona youth academy that has
developed players such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in
recent years. He earned himself the nickname ‘El Asesino’ (The
Assassin) due to his immense goal scoring capacity and had attracted
the attention of a Liverpool side that had just finished 3rd in the
Premier League and reached the UEFA Champions League final, losing
narrowly to AC Milan. He did decide to go and test his ability in
England, signing his first senior contract with Rafa Benitez’s
Liverpool. A frustrating six years later, Pacheco made a deadline day
loan move to Spanish second division team SD Huesca. Can Pacheco use
this loan move to prove himself as part of Liverpool’s future, or is
he just another young player who has failed to make the transition
from academy to senior football?

Pacheco is a very versatile player, capable of playing in an attacking
midfield role, as a striker or as a left winger. His skill and pace
make him a tough player to beat, and he offers a lot to the team
overall. His performances for the Liverpool reserves were impressive,
despite not living up to his reputation as a clinical finisher. He
flourished playing in a more creative attacking midfield role, notably
setting up Krisztian Nemeth’s Premier Reserve League North clinching
goal with a 50-yard pass. His goal scoring stats were slightly
underwhelming, but he made up for that by creating several goals for
his teammates, and opening up defenses with mazy runs and quick sharp

At the end of 2009, Pacheco was handed his first chance for the
Liverpool first team when he came on as a substitute for Aquilani
against Fiorentina. He made his Premier League debut against Wolves,
also coming on for Aquilani. Pacheco’s first team opportunities were
limited to the Europa League or as a late substitute in league games.
Pacheco failed to make any impact in his rare opportunities, causing
Dalglish to let him leave the club on loan to find some first team
football. He found that in Norwich City, and had some success, scoring
his first two senior goals. Opportunities as a striker were difficult
with free scoring Grant Holt in the team, but he excelled again
playing in a deeper role. He moved back to Spain on loan the following
season, joining Rayo Vallecano. His bid for first team football was
scuppered by injury however, as well as the form of Michu, who
occupied Pacheco’s favoured role. Pacheco made just 11 appearences for
the Spanish side, scoring no goals.

His return to Liverpool saw a change in management, with Kenny
Dalglish being replaced by Brendan Rodgers. From early on, it became
obvious that Rodgers was looking to bring some players up from the
reserves and academy to use in the first team. Pacheco must have been
optimistic about his chances, and sure enough, he was given the chance
to impress up front against Young Boys. He failed to take his chance,
looking isolated up front and he was hauled off to be replaced by
Fabio Borini after 60 minutes. He was given another chance to play a
deeper role against West Brom, and he made good use of his
opportunity, coming close to scoring and threatening their defence
regularly. This was his last appearence for Liverpool before going out
on loan.
SD Huesca are relegation contenders, and while Pacheco did score on
his debut here, it is worrying that he is yet to score a goal for a
team in the top division. It is also worrying that SD Huesca were the
only team interested in Pacheco given their position. Pacheco is now
22, so will want to be playing regular football soon. Whether this
happens at Liverpool or at another club remains to be seen, but sadly,
I can’t see Pacheco having a part with Liverpool’s future, with
several other players better equipped to occupy his favoured
positions. While Liverpool’s tiki-taka style does fit Pacheco’s style
of play, I don’t think Pacheco is built well enough to cope with the
demand of the English game.


  1. Pacheco is pure class, he could do for Liverpool what David Silva does for man city and Mata does for chelski. Rodgers seems to make snap judgments about certain players without trying to work and shape them to fit into his ideas. Players like Danny, Carroll and the excellent Ngoo dont seem to get a look in.

    1. You are I’m afraid to say one of those small number of fans who didn’t want Rodgers from day one and will never give him a chance.

      Sending Pacheco out on loan was no snap judgement, he has gone to play for a club that plays to Rodgers system instead of pottering around in the reserves, he will get games which at present he can’t at Liverpool and hopefully he’ll come back with some renewed confidence.

  2. I too think Dani is a good player and deserves more game time. That said, its not easy being a manager. We fans only see a tenth of what Rogers sees. We have to get behind our manager and trust his decisions.

  3. Agree with all statements, just one thing bothers me, why give them a chance when you playing a second string team. Just like Morgan, only gets to play in fst team with his other reserve team players, let’s see them play in a game with our fst team, like Suso, clicks well with Suarez. And then we judge them. Can you blame Agger and Skrtel if their midfield is inexperience to help out, no. They play at their best when they are playing with the best. Pacheco was a lonely fugure cos of no service in his games he played. Ask who was in the team to provide service. And one or two games is not enough to adjust.

    1. Agree with you there , while we only had Suarez up front because of Borini’s injury you would’ve thought the reserve team’s striker Adam Morgan would’ve got a chance instead we played midfielders up front . Morgan might’ve done well in a proper first team same could be said for Ngoo too , funny one to fathom really , playing in your natural position alongside 10 first teamers gotta be better than in a team full of 2nd choicers and basically trialists , lets hope they all do well were they are and come back all the better for it tho aye ?

  4. This is the best move for Danny. BR does recognize his talent & hence hasn’t sold him. He has rather sent him to a Spanish club with similar style where DP ‘ll start every match. He can be a late bloomer & can become a player like Michu.

    Ngoo is a load of trash, just like the white elephant Carroll. For their heavy duty physical superiority both had some success in lower level, but I doubt ever they ‘ll play in pass & move football. Ngoo succeeded in U21 level (where he took on defenders 2/3 of this size) & now in Championship, where donkey Carroll did his heroics. It was our misfortune that, we wasted 25mn additional.

    Both Ngoo & Carrol ‘ll never draw over 5mn transfer fee in their career; but I still believe, Pacheco ‘ll play for Spain.

  5. I for one will be glad to see the back of him, let’s hope Jack Robinson andFlannigan get shown the door too.

  6. Pacheco is done with Liverpool. Why are we still talking about him. How much longer is he signed as a Liverpool player? I think his age group has caught up with him and he hasn’t progressed or improved. I am worried about the likes of Ngoo. I think he is the perfect false # 9 that could fit in Rodgers system. He is very good with the ball at his feet and nimble on the ground and air and he is 6’6. What an option to have coming off the bench in the next couple of years.

Comments are closed