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Ten to watch in 2013/14 - 9. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff city)
There’s many a player that fails to cut it with their original team, but drops down a division and then flourishes. It’s not quite a ‘riches-to-rags-to-riches’ story, but the career of Peter Whittingham has followed something of a similar trail to date.
A member of Aston Villa’s 2002 FA Youth Cup winning team, he seemed destined for a distinguished career with the Birmingham club. He made his first team debut towards the end of the 2003/04 season and followed up the following season with 32 appearances, netting his first goal in the , September of that year. Villa secured him on a four year deal and his future seemed bright. As is often the way however, Whittingham seemed to slip out of then manager David O’Leary’s plans, and was loaned out to then Burnley and then Derby County to seek first team football.
In January of 2007, after a mere handful of games for Villa, with Whittingham’s contract running down, the club decided to take brass on offer and agreed a cut price £350,000 to take Whittingham to Cardiff City. In the six years since, he has made over 270 appearances for the Welsh club, scoring 63 goals, but contributing to far more than that with assists from his wand of a left foot.
With Cardiff now back in the top league, Whittingham will a renewed opportunity to strut his stuff on the big stage. Almost always the nominated dead ball specialist for Cardiff Whittingham’s astute football brain and ability to deliver the ball where and when he can cause maximum effect is a rare talent.
It’s probably not too big a link to say that if Whittingham has a good season, then so will Cardiff, and whilst he may not score too many goals himself, it’s pretty safe to say that a good proportion of the team’s goals will have a Whittingham involvement.
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