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Clyne sidelined as big clubs hover

13 April 2015, 20:27

London - The highs and lows of a footballer's career were perfectly illustrated at the weekend when England's newly-capped defender Nathaniel Clyne found himself sitting on Southampton's bench for Saturday's Premier League match against Hull City.

It was a reminder to Clyne that, despite playing his first four games for England this season as well impressing so much that Manchester United, Liverpool and his boyhood team Chelsea have all reportedly been linked with a move for him, he is still learning his trade.

Also read: Allardyce looks ahead despite Hammers uncertainty

Saints manager Ronald Koeman admitted last week it would be difficult to hold on to the player they signed from Crystal Palace for 2.0 million pounds ($2.93 million) three years ago, while Clyne has said he is not ready to think about a new contract until the season is over but wants to play in the Champions League and win trophies.

Perhaps Koeman had one eye on next season by re-jigging his team who moved back up to fifth after their 2-0 win over Hull and Clyne was not pleased to be sidelined.

"I was a bit disappointed not to be in the starting team, everyone wants to start," he said at an event in London to increase awareness of the Ebola disease.

"It was a bit of a shock but there are a lot of players fighting for position and when you are not in the team you just have to keep fighting to get back in," he said.

The Saints have faltered in the race for the Champions League places in recent weeks and a top six finish is now more likely than one in the top four.

The south London-born player is out of contract next year and the club know his value will decrease the closer he gets to the end of his deal.

There is a greater chance he will stay if they finish in the top four but the pull of United, Liverpool or Chelsea may prove too tempting.

Speaking at Sunday's Football Fighting Ebola fund-raising reception, he said: "Right now I'm just focused on playing for Southampton, there are still lots of points to play for.

"Champions League football is everyone's dream and hopefully we can do it for Southampton.

"I'm flattered by the interest from the big clubs. It shows that I'm doing well and I've had a good season."

($1 = 0.6829 pounds)

- Reuters


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