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Blink And You'd Miss Him: Lewin Nyatanga

We’re back with the second installment in a series that is devoted to the anonymous. Names that have graced the back of the red and white shirt which we have long since forgotten about. This week we are proud to bring you, Lewin Nyatanga.

Nigel Roddis

Nyantanga was a product of Derby County's academy system who would go on to sign a professional contract with the Rams in the summer of 2005, making his debut in the League Cup early that season against Grimsby Town and going on to make a number of appearances for the first team in his first full season as a pro.

Despite early promise, Billy Davies saw fit to allow the defender to leave Derby on loan in November of 2006, when he made the trip to the North East to join Roy Keane at the Stadium of Light as cover at left-back with injuries to Stephen Wright and Clive Clark.

Imagine that for a moment. Signed as cover for Clive Clark. Clive sodding Clark...

Needless to say, as the very nature of this feature dictates, Nyatanga didn't exactly tear up many trees during his spell on Wearside and his eleven appearances, although there was talk of his loan spell being made permanent.

It is perhaps maybe a little harsh to be overly critical of Nyatanga's Sunderland stint. He was after all a young player at the time and one that was more adept at playing among a back three during those early days at Derby. Even Roy Keane showed a rare glimpse of humility in admitting that he hadn't done the lad many favours in playing him the left back slot.

Indeed having been moved to his more familiar spot in the centre of defence towards the end of his loan spell Nyatanga did improve markedly, however by that time it was probably too little too late.

At the time Derby had Sunderland's own Jon Stead on their books on loan and were keen to make that move permanent for some unknown reason. Needless to say the two parties were unable to come to an agreement and Nyatanga was swiftly back on his way to Pride Park.

Since those halycon days in 2006, Nyatanga spent a number of seasons on loan at Barnsley before a permanent move saw the defender join Bristol City in 2010 before ultimately rocking back up at Oakwell this season.

With my memories of the young defender being hazy at best, I sought the expert opinion of my colleagues here at Roker Report and their recollections of Nyatanga:

Gareth Barker:

Nyatanga? I remember him being absolutely sh...

Stephen Goldsmith:

Nyatanga - was played at left back by Keane on the basis he was left footed and really struggled. Keane played him in central defence for his last one or two games and be played really well. Went back to Derby and Keane said he had a bit of a "guilt trip" over playing him at left back.

That's all I remember.

Simon Walsh:

I remember nothing of Nyatanga other than he existed for a bit. I do recall him being played left back as Stephen says, but performance-wise I remember nothing.

And there you have it, another name that you may very well have forgotten, or you may have better memories than us lot - if so, be sure to leave your favourite Nyatanga moments in the comments below!