As someone who has played at the highest level of the game in England, former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is ready for a new challenge with Indian Super League (ISL) club Odisha FC. At the age of 34, Taylor may be getting old a bit, but there is no doubt that his quality will add a lot of value to the Odisha FC starting line-up.
Let's have a deeper look at his career:
Here is all you need to know about Steven Taylor:
#1 Start of career with Newcastle United
Born in 1986, Steven Taylor played for local football teams in the English midlands before he was scouted by Newcastle United. It was at the Newcastle Academy that Taylor switched from being a striker to a center-back, and his football development accelerated.
After being identified as one of the brightest young talents at the Newcastle Academy, Steven Taylor made his first team debut for the club in 2004 during a UEFA Cup fourth-round tie, coming on as a substitute. He made his Premier League debut three days later, although it ended in disappointment as he was involved in Bolton scoring the match-winning goal.
It would be safe to say that Taylor's first two seasons with the Magpies did not see him hit his highest level, with injuries coming in the way.
#2 Breakthrough season at Newcastle
The 2006 season saw Steven Taylor establish himself in the Newcastle United first team, and score his debut senior goal for the club in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo. He also scored his first goal in the Premier League later that season.
Even though there were occasions when the-then manager Sam Allardyce would still keep Taylor out of the starting XI, it all changed when Kevin Keegan took over. Taylor would go on to become an undisputed starter and even signed a new contract with the club.
Steven Taylor, however, suffered the bitter disappointment of relegation with Newcastle in the 2008-09 season. He chose to stay on with the club despite rumors of a return to the Premier League, and started all games for Newcastle in the championship when fit.
Newcastle finished at the top of the table with an unbeaten home record and earned promotion straight back into the Premier League. For his excellent performances that season, he bagged Sport Newcastle's 'Sports Personality of the Year' award.
#3 End of stint at Newcastle and new beginnings
Steven Taylor's remaining time at Newcastle was spent in the Premier League, and in 2016, it was time for him to make the switch to the MLS in USA. Taylor's career since then has largely been nomadic. He spent one season with Portland Timbers in the MLS before moving back to England in 2017 to join Ipswich Town. In 2017, he moved to League One side Peterborough United.
The A-League was where Taylor's career had a mini rejuvenation. He joined Wellington Phoenix in 2018 and went on to become one of the club's most important players.
With Odisha FC, Steven Taylor has signed a one-year contract with an option to extend. With his wealth of experience and leadership qualities, he will certainly be an asset to the side that already has many promising young Indian players.Published 18 Nov 2020, 19:23 IST