Injured Newcastle defender Steven Taylor will soon be celebrating his tenth anniversary as a Newcastle United player, and it's time to look back at what he's done within the club for the last decade.
Though aged only 26, Taylor really does seem like he’s been here forever, and it all started with his stint in the youth squad, which lasted from 1995-2003.
Despite being born in Greenwich, Taylor is a Geordie at heart – raised by Geordie parents in Newcastle, living down in London for only weeks of his life. As a young player, he was initially signed to Newcastle’s youth academy as a striker – which explains the knack for goals he’s had over the last few years.
Since moving into the senior squad in 2003, though, Taylor’s defence is what has shone through the most.
For a lot of Taylor’s early years in the senior squad, he was more of a back-up to the likes of Andy O’Brien – but a promising one at that. Taylor even appeared in European competition – the UEFA cup – not just in the Premier League.
Breaking into the team as a starter in 2006, aged only 20, Taylor built upon the foundation of his early success with England Under-21 and England B call-ups. In fact, Taylor’s performances in that 2006-07 season even ended with a North East Young Player of the Year award in 2007.
Following a few successful years, Taylor was then replaced in the line-up by Newcastle Player of the Year Sebastian Bassong and now-captain Fabricio Coloccini. To conclude a horrible season for Taylor, Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League – and as a Newcastle fan growing up, no player took that harder than Steven Taylor.
The last couple of seasons have seen Taylor’s circa-2007 form return, and Newcastle have sorely missed him when out this season.
As good as Taylor has been, though, it must be noted that only once in his career has a he played in more than 30 games in a season. Taylor has simply been marred by injuries, and hopefully this latest one will be his last major one, allowing him to get on with what has so far been a promising career.