Nathaniel Clyne is an English right-back who was born in Stockwell, London on 5th April 1991. Clyne had a spell with Tottenham as a youngster before being snapped up by Crystal Palace. He made his debut for Palace as a 17 year old in a 3-0 win against Barnsley on 18th October 2008. Clyne established himself as a regular for the Eagles during 2008/09 and displayed maturity beyond his years. He made 29 appearances in his first senior campaign, picking up the award for Young Player of the Year. Clyne earned praise from manager Neil Warnock for both his attacking and defensive play.
Clyne continued his progression during 2009/10. He missed early season matches through injury, but recovered to score his first senior goal against Reading on 8th December 2009. When Palace were placed in administration Clyne had the chance to join Premier League outfit Wolves, but rejected the approach. He helped the Eagles overcome a 10 point penalty to stay up in his second term. Clyne's performances did not go unnoticed at international level. He represented England U19s at the 2010 European Championships. Clyne also won awards for Crystal Palace Player of the Year and Football League Player of the Year in 2010.
Clyne was an ever present during 2010/11, and continued to stand out. He was named Crystal Palace's player of the season after yet another consistent campaign. That form continued into 2011/12. Clyne won the award for Championship Player of the Month in October. He also helped Palace reach the semi-finals of the League Cup. Clyne shone in a 2-1 win at Manchester United, in which he reportedly attracted interest from Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson. A rumoured January switch to the Theatre of Dreams never came off however. Clyne was the subject of much speculation throughout the first few months of 2012, especially when it became clear he wouldn't be extending his contract beyond the summer. He was named in the PFA Football League team of the season for 2011/12.
On 18th July 2012 Clyne signed for Southampton on a four year deal. He impressed in pre-season, at both ends of the pitch. That form was carried into the Premier League campaign. Clyne consistently performed to a high level, even when the rest of the defence struggled. He unfortunately slipped before Robin Van Persie scored for Man United in September, and then put through his own net against Arsenal. Other than that, mistakes were rare. Clyne notched his first goal in the 4-1 win over Aston Villa on September 22nd. The full-back wasn’t quite as impressive at Everton and West Ham, partly due to a minor injury he had sustained in training. He looked strong in the winter months as Saints climbed up the table. Clyne was almost unbeatable in one-on-one situations. He always timed his tackles to perfection too. He missed a couple of matches around New Years, before returning for the 1-0 win at Aston Villa on January 12th. The full-back provided the cross for Rickie Lambert’s goal in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea four days later. Clyne’s performances during Pochettino’s first few games ranged from passable to excellent. He combined brilliantly with Jason Puncheon – as he did so many times during the season – on February 9th in the 3-1 triumph over Man City. He was left far too exposed in the 4-2 defeat at Newcastle. He barely put a foot wrong in wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Reading. Clyne should have really scored early on at Tottenham in May.
Clyne missed a fair chunk of the 2013/14 pre-season through injury, and subsequently started the campaign on the bench behind Calum Chambers. He was back as first choice by September, however. Clyne was rarely anything less than steady, and quite often spectacular. He showcased all his talents against Swansea and Man United in October 2013. Clyne was given licence to push-on and attack in most games, but still displayed his intelligence and awareness in defensive situations. He missed out on some action in December through injury, and played second fiddle to Chambers early in 2014. Clyne scored a cracker against Burnley in the cup. He came off the bench to provide Rickie Lambert with a great assist at Fulham on February 1st. Clyne looked good at former club Palace in March, but was at fault for one of the goals conceded at Tottenham. He was unfortunate not to receive a call-up to the England squad, despite performing well in front of Roy Hodgson on several occasions. His display against Everton in April 2014 was perhaps as impressive as any of his previous efforts in a Saints shirt.