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Sinclair, Scott


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Scott Sinclair

Written by Alan and last updated July 2008.

If you had to use one word to sum-up Scott Sinclair it would be 'fast.'

Chelsea 'poached' Scott from Bristol Rovers in the summer of 2005 when he was 16 years old. He had made his league debut there aged just 15. In November 2005, Chelsea had to pay £160,000 compensation to Bristol Rovers for Sinclair, which will rise depending on how successful he is at the club.

Sinclair spent his first season at Chelsea playing for the Reserve and Youth teams, and notched up an impressive tally of goals. Scott scored 15 goals for the Youth team and 3 for the reserves. Sinclair's good form was rewarded in March 2006 when he signed professional forms with the club.

[[fimg]=left]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair/scott%20sinclair%20on%20loan%20to%20plymouth%202%20march%2011th%202007.gif[/[fimg]]

A major part of Scott's game is his lightning quick pace and dribbling skills, watching him in full swing is a joy and he has scored some cracking goals in his time with the youth and reserve teams. He is in the mould of Thierry Henry in terms of his dribbling skill, although such a comparison may be a bit premature. Goals against Fulham and Brighton are evidence of the potential Sinclair has, enter his name into YouTube and you'll see.

The 06/07 season saw Sinclair progress further, going out on loan to Plymouth in January. Before this he made his Chelsea debut as a late substitute in the League Cup tie against Wycombe. He was also an unused substitute in Chelsea's 6-1 demolition of Macclesfield in the FA Cup a few days earlier.

While on loan at Plymouth, Sinclair alerted many people to his potential and ability. His first goal for the Pilgrims came in an FA Cup tie against Barnet, where he ran virtually the whole length of the pitch past three players, then steadied himself after being tugged by a defender and then slotting the ball past the keeper.

[[fimg]=right]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair/scottsinclair%20for%20england%20u17%20against%20france%20on%20march%2027%202007%202.jpg[/[fimg]]

Scott would go on to score an equally brilliant goal in a Championship match against Crystal Palace. Again he ran from his own half before cutting between two defenders and firing a shot that cannoned in off the bar. Sinclair spent 3 months on loan at Plymouth, making 18 appearances and scoring 4 goals. During his spell at Plymouth, comparisons with Theo Walcott were made.

Indeed both players have a lot of pace and fantastic dribbling skills. Luckily for us we got Scotty for less than 200k, while Arsenal stumped up a massive £12 million for Walcott. Sinclair's league debut game in our crucial match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, a game which we drew 1-1, and thus surrendered our title to Man United. A couple of days later, Sinclair started his first game for the Blues, in the dead rubber game against Man United. He looked lively and made a few threatening runs, before his game and season was ended by a clumsy tackle from Wes Brown, which broke his fifth metatarsal.

[[fimg]=left]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair/sinclair%20genera2l.jpg[/[fimg]]

Sinclair would have likely have played in Chelsea's final game of the season against Everton, but the clumsiness of Brown denied him the chance to press his case for a first team squad place further. Scott was fully fit by the time pre-season training came around and headed out to the US with the first team squad for the pre-season tour.

[[fimg]=right]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair/_44140737_sinclair203.jpg[/[fimg]]

Over there Scott made a few substitute appearances and looked lively. His next appearance for Chelsea came in the League Cup game against Hull. It was in this game that Sinclair scored his first senior goal for Chelsea, driving the ball home from a SWP cross. In our Carling Cup tie against Leicester he set-up Frank Lampard's equaliser.

[[fimg]=left]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair/sinclair%20and%20kalou%20celebrate%20kalou%20goal%20vs%20newcastle%20dec%2029th%202007.gif[/[fimg]]

On 6th November 2007, Scott went on loan to QPR, and made an instant impression, scoring the opening goal in their draw with Crystal Palace.

He returned to Chelsea in time for our Carling Cup clash against Liverpool, and he started the game. He looked dangerous in the time he spent on the pitch and seemed to have done his chances of more regular first team action no harm. However, it seems that Avram didn't have much faith in Scott and he saw his chances in the first team diminish, with Grant often preferring to put 3 defenders on the bench for cup games instead of putting Scott there.

A loan deal was likely, and in February Scott joined Charlton for the rest of the season. However, just over a month later he left the club, as it was clear he wasn't going to get the playing time to aid his development.

His destination was then Crystal Palace, who were challenging for promotion with a talented crop of youngsters. Like in previous loan spells, he was impressive and showcased his ability to run with the ball and score spectacular goals, with one coming in Palace's 5-0 demolition of Burnley which guaranteed them a place in the play-offs.

[[fimg]=right]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Scott_Sinclair_2/sinclair%20palace.gif[/[fimg]]

After hearing rave reviews of Scott's performances in a Palace shirt from one of my mates who is a season ticket holder down at Selhurst, I watched the two legs of their play-off semi-final against Bristol City with great interested, keen to size up Scott's progress. Palace, and in particular Sinclair, never got going and lost 4-2 on aggregate. Sinclair was poor in both games and seemed to me to be a bit one-dimensional, losing possession very easily.

Scolari's comments in recent weeks about giving young players a chance should be music to Sinclair's ears.

Whether Scott fulfils the amount of potential he has remains to be seen. If he does, expect many Premiership defenders to have nightmares.

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