Pave way for Pacheco
Daniel Pacheco, a young, exciting and talented prospect is ready to burst onto the Premier League scene. The miniature Spaniard is only 5 foot 4, but was quickly nicknamed ‘The Assassin’ for his deadly touch in front of goal and ability to score from any position. Pacheco’s skill and eye for the net will be pivotal in Liverpool‘s upcoming season. He signed from Barcelona in 2007, where he had risen through their youth academy and been labelled a future star.
At only 19-years-old, Pacheco is set to have a thrilling career and the 2010/11 season looks to be the campaign which will launch him into the big time. Pacheco currently has four first-team appearances. His debut came on the 9th of December 2009 against Fiorentina in the UEFA Champions League, where he was a second half substitute. He didn’t have to wait much longer for his league debut, which came two weeks later, in a victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Pacheco’s next action came against Unirea Urziceni in the UEFA Europa League. Replacing Alberto Aquilani in the 75th minute, he quickly made his mark with an assist for David N’gog, in a goal that eventually won the game. Pacheco made his first start for Liverpool on the 5th of August 2010, against Rabotnicki in a Europa League qualifier.
Liverpool’s lack of options at the top of the pitch will mean regular first team action for Pacheco. With Liverpool’s star man Fernando Torres currently injured, the strikers looking to stake an early claim are Frenchman David N’gog, new signing Milan Jovanovic, young Englishman David Amoo and Pacheco himself. All of which have featured in Liverpool’s games against Robotnicki.
N’gog has impressed in both legs of Liverpool’s Europa League qualifying tie against Rabotnicki, netting three goals in total and winning a penalty. Jovanovic has played in both ties, however Hodgson has positioned him on the left of midfield rather than upfront. Amoo featured in the opening leg and Pacheco got his first full game for Liverpool in the second leg. Although Pacheco didn’t net his first goal for the senior side, he impressed with his pace and tenacity. The Spanish starlet said, ”I really enjoyed it and it made me very happy to make my first start for the first team and play 90 minutes.” It is clear that Hodgson is trying all his options, but Pacheco will be one of the strongest contenders thanks to the superb summer he has had for the Spanish Under-19′s.
He took the 2010 UEFA Under-19 Football Championships by storm, helping Spain reach the final and finishing top scorer in the process. Pacheco scored three goals in the group stages, netting two against neighbours Portugal and one against Italy. Spain topped their group and didn’t drop a point in their three matches. This meant they faced England in the semi-final where Pacheco got the first goal and set Spain up for a 3-1 victory and a final against their French counterparts. A match that would see Pacheco go up against fellow Liverpool teammate Chris Mavinga, Chealsea’s young midfielder Gael Kakuta and Arsenal‘s Gilles Sunu. Despite Spain taking the lead, France proved too much and came from behind to win 2-1; the equalising goal scored by young Gunner Gilles Sunu.
Although Pacheco did not win the tournament, he picked up the golden boot award with his four goals. He spoke of this accolade stating, “I enjoyed the tournament and it was nice to get the trophy which will be a good memory for me.” However, this was not the only award he received, Goal.com named Pacheco the World Player of the Week during his great tournament. Equally as important though is that Pacheco has launched himself into the public eye and is now a recognised future star. Liverpool will hope he continues to improve under their guidance and regular games will be the best way to ensure the attacker will grow into an accomplished Anfield icon.
It is clear to see that Daniel Pacheco has all the right attributes to be this year’s breakthrough star. Naturally blessed with the flair and style that seems to be attached to many Spaniards. Pacheco will seek plenty of experience with Liverpool and the Europa League will be a great competition for Pacheco to thrive in. He will look to follow in the footsteps of his teammate and mentor, Fernando Torres, who Pacheco could eventually replace for both club and country.
Liverpool will hope ‘The Assassin’ lives up to his name and kills off many teams this season with plenty of goals.