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Whitbread, Zak

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by Dave Usher

Date of Birth - 04/03/84
Nationality - English/American
Position - Defender
Cost - Nothing
Games - 7
Goals - 0
Club Hons (Lpool) - None
Club Hons (Other) - None
Intnl Hons - USA U23
Other Clubs - Millwall, Norwich City

In his final year at the club's Academy, American born Zak captained the u19's and broke into the reserve side, but when the club announced which players were to be retained, his name was not on the original list. Along with several of his u19 team-mates, Zak went on the Academy exit trials, where he made a big impression. So much so, that over twenty clubs came in for him, prompting Liverpool into a rethink.

A two year contract was offered to the tall blonde haired defender, and in the summer of 2003 Whitbread represented the country of his birth in the World Youth Championships, and he came back looking much more confident.

In 2003/04 Zak was one of the reserve team's most consistent players, and when Rafa Benitez took charge the following summer, he named Zak in his squad to tour North America. The defender made a favourable impression on the new boss, and was rewarded with his first team debut in the Carling Cup tie away at Millwall.

Whitbread was excellent that night, and kept his place in the Carling Cup team for the games with Middlesborough and Tottenham. When it became clear his first team opportunities at Anfield would be limited, Millwall came in for him on loan and he made such an impression at the New Den that they made the deal permanent in the summer of 2006. In January 2010 Zak signed for Norwich City.

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