Sunday, November 18, 2007

33. Chris Eagles

irthdate: 19 Nov 1985
Birthplace: Hemel Hempstead, England
Position: Winger
Joined United: 08 Jul 2002
United Debut: 28/10/2003 v Leeds United (a)

With excellent dribbling skills, impressive control and a vicious shot, Chris Eagles is rightly held in high esteem by many at Old Trafford.

The young right-sided midfielder caught the eye of fans as soon as he was given his first taste of first-team action - a 3-2 Carling Cup win at Leeds in 2003. Eagles was, at that time, a reserve team regular and in the following season, 2004/05, he helped the second string to collect a quadruple of trophies.

However, Eagles had to be patient for his Premiership breakthrough. With competition for senior midfield places forever fierce, Sir Alex

Ferguson sent the London-born youngster out on loan. He gained good experience of life below the top flight with Watford and Sheffield Wednesday and also had a stint on loan with Dutch Eridivisie side NEC Nijmegen in Holland.

After spending the best part of two years away from Old Trafford, Eagles started to forge his way into the first-team reckoning in the run-in to the 2006/07 title. The squad was hit by injuries but nevertheless, Eagles deserved his promotion as he demonstrated by firing home United's fourth goal - a superbly controlled curling effort - in a stunning second-half comeback at Everton on 28 April. It was a fine way to mark his Premiership debut, having come on as a sub for Solskjaer in the 86th minute.

Eagles then confirmed his status as a fully fledged member of the first-team squad with his first Premiership start on 9 May 2007 at Chelsea, where he enjoyed the experience of playing against his boyhood inspiration Joe Cole.

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