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Jermaine Pennant was a Â£6.7m transfer from Birmingham City, after his club were relegated to the Championship. Pennant impressed during his debut against Maccabi Haifa, and found himself as first choice winger during his first season at the club. He wasted no time in impressing fans and experts alike, with intelligent attacking play. He scored an unstoppable half volley against Chelsea in January 2007, his first goal for Liverpool.
After Liverpool reached the UEFA Champions League Final in his first season, Pennant was labelled as one of the best players on the pitch, and took the somewhat irrelevant Man of The Match accolade. He did maintain his good form during the beginning of the 2007/2008 season, but was repeatedly overlooked by the England setup. His season floundered slightly, after a needless red card in the Champions League game against Porto, and an injury set him back even further.
Pennant was thrust into prominence at the tender age of 15; after Arsene Wenger opted to pay Notts County Â£2m for the tricky winger, which was a record for a trainee at the time. After a career which has failed to live up to signs of initial promise, Pennant has begun to show why Rafa has stuck by him, and has left behind the disciplinary problems, which dogged his career at Arsenal and Birmingham.
Scrummie, Aug. 2008