Today is the birthday of Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead. The Welshman was born in 1998 and we brought him in at the start of the season in our bid for promotion.
He began playing football in Wales and was on the books as a boy at Wrexham, that team owned by Hollywood, but went to the blue half of Merseyside with Everton at the age of 10.
The winger hadn't really featured for Everton or found his way into the senior squad under the umpteen amount of managers they've hired and fired over the past few years, so he's had to hone his craft whilst on loan.
His first opportunity came in the form of a move to Burton Albion in the 19/20 season, playing 23 games for the club. He rarely played the full 90 minutes in League One though; he was mostly used as an impact substitute or one of the first players to be brought off. In the cup however, he played the majority of the games, and performed well.
In the Carabao cup he gave Burton fans one of their best moments of the season, scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win against Premier League side AFC Bournemouth to seal the win. They were actually 6th in the League at the time, albeit 6 games into the season, but still.
After the loan with Burton, Broadhead stayed at Everton but once again couldn't get into the starting XI under Carlo Ancelotti. It wasn't all doom and gloom though, he had a prolific season with the under-23 squad, playing 18 games and notching 11 goals as well as three assists, not too shabby.
The 21/22 season he decided to join the biggest club in the North East, us of course. It's fair to say he’s been our best loan out of the lot. With our attack not looking as threatening as it is with him in there as an extra outlet.
The Wales under-21 international had a great start to the season until tragedy struck when he limped off of the Emirates after 45 minutes. Such a shame after scoring on the biggest stage of his career to date. It was a well taken goal as he chipped Bernd Leno first time, changing the scoreline to 2-1 to Arsenal, giving hope to the players and the fans that we could have made a real game out of it. Until of course, he went off just before half time and we brought on Denver Hume in his place, what a substitute that was… Not.
If you'd like to avoid the Arsenal goals and just watch Broadhead's then you can skip to 0:59.
He joined a long list of injured key players and It didn't take long for our results to go limp either, picking up 16 points out of 36 in the next 12 matches, with the gaffer, Lee Johnson saying “It’s a disaster.”
Currently, we just wait for updates as he nears back to full fitness, hopefully he’ll be back in time for the playoffs, should we get there.