One to Watch #43: Clayton McDonald

Last updated : 23 April 2010 By Dan Buxton

                                                         Clayton McDonald    

Name: Clayton McDonald

 Date of Birth: 6th December 1988

Position: Centre back

Club: Walsall

Previous Clubs: Manchester City, Macclesfield Town(loan), Chesterfield(loan), Walsall(loan)

Defender McDonald comes from a footballing family, his brother Rodney, also a defender, has come through the Potters academy and has just been released at the age of 18 whilst his father, also Rodney, played as a striker and enjoyed a successful career, mainly in Scottish football.

Clayton though has forged a career in his own right. He came through the famed Manchester City youth set up and was regarded as potentially one of the biggest assets at the club when he signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2007.

He found chances hard to come by at the City of Manchester Stadium, hampered by the turnover of managers, and then the billionaire Arabs that took over last summer, and subsequently went out on loan to try and gain some first team experience.

He joined Macclesfield in September 2008 and the late Keith Alexander had this to say after his debut ""He did a good job for us, I was delighted with his performance" and "for a young lad to come in and do so well, it augurs well for the future." Alexander stated they had an option to extend the loan, but both parties agreed it would be best if he returned to his parent club. Unfortunately McDonald picked up an injury on his second start for the club and had to be substituted before returning to Manchester City.

After recovering from injury he went out on loan again at the end of last season, joining Chesterfield where he again played a couple of games and again impressed before, again, picking up an injury that forced his return to Eastlands.

He joined Walsall at the start of the 2009/10 season and made good strides during his loan spell, that was disrupted by minor niggles, before he signed permanently for the Saddlers in January 2010, on a free transfer. He has played 23 times for Walsall this season and scored his first senior goal as the Saddlers beat promotion hopefuls Leeds 2-1.

Obviously the hierarchy at Eastlands have no place for youngsters who aren't world superstars but the Saddlers weren't complaining as they picked up a potential future star, if he can sort out the niggles that have cut short so much of his career so far.