Nathaniel Clyne has played for a number of clubs throughout his career, and spent a portion of his youth with clubs like Tottenham, Arsenal, and Crystal Palace. The England international claims he didn’t hone his game at any of these footballing academies however, insisting he learnt his trade by playing in the cages with his friends, as reported by the Mirror.
The 24-year-old made the move from Southampton to Liverpool this past summer, and has taken his place on the right of our back four.
He looks like an excellent acquisition, and is currently first choice for the national side. But he claims he is not a product of the academies he was raised in, and puts his success down to the cages in Stockwell he played in as a kid – believing that is what toughened him up.
“I learned to play football at my local club. Steadman Scott, that was my local club. I started playing for them after annoying my older brother to let me join in.
“But it was the games in the pens on the Studley Estate in Stockwell that made me —toughened me up enough to be who I am today. The pitches were made of concrete. Any trainers would do. If you made a sliding tackle, you would graze your knees.”
IBT previously revealed that Clyne was close to signing with Arsenal, but he was deemed too small to thrive in the Premier League – strange for a club who are known for signing diminutive stars.
He isn’t the biggest defender, but clearly he makes up for his size in other ways. Physicality is important in the Premier League, so we should be thanking the cages in Stockwell for turning him into the player he is today.