PICTURE BY NURPHOTO/BBC.
A MUCH-loved North Wales footballing star has been called up to the Wales squad for the first time ahead of some very important matches to come next month.
Nathan Broadhead’s long-wait for a call up to the senior side has finally come after manager Rob Page placed him in the squad earlier today (May 19).
As a result, Broadhead could now go on to earn his first cap in Nations League Group A matches against Poland, Netherlands (two separate matches) or Belgium in early June.
It also puts the attacker in a position to potentially take to the field in the all-important World Cup 2022 qualifier v either Ukraine or Scotland.
Broadhead has previously represented Wales at various age levels, including playing for the under 20’s at the 2017 Toulon Tournament.
After many years of waiting, the 24-year-old made his Premier League debut for Everton on April 12, 2021.
It was a disappointing night for the Toffees overall as they failed to break down a stubborn Brighton and Hove Albion and drew 0-0 at the AMEX Stadium.
However, it was most certainly a night to remember for Bangor-born Broadhead who can finally say he had made an appearance in England’s top-flight.
That night, he came on to replace Tom Davies with just three minutes and injury time left in the game.
Then-manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is now in charge of UEFA Champions League finalists Real Madrid, showed great faith in Broadhead to hand him his long-awaited debut.
Leading up to that, he had starred continuously for Everton’s under 23’s side – including netting a hat-trick in a 4-1 win v Manchester United.
Broadhead has been with Everton since he was just 10 years old, having joined the Toffees from Wrexham’s academy.
His finest campaign to date with the young Toffees came when he scooped the club’s Under-23 Player-of-the-Season prize following a league and cup double in 2018-19. A highlight of that season saw him scoring a double in Everton’s 2-0 win against bitter rivals Liverpool U23’s at Anfield.
In the 2019/20 season, he spent time on loan at Burton Albion, where he made 20 appearances in Sky Bet League One, scoring two goals.
Broadhead did have a European first-team appearance to his name for Everton previously – having come on as a late substitute during a 3-0 win over Apollon Limassol back in 2017.
This season, the attacker has been on loan at EFL League One club Sunderland and has really showcased what he can do – so much so that it has led him to a Wales call up.
Broadhead has been influential, scoring 13 goals in 26 appearances.
He suffered a first-half injury in the Black Cats’ final game of the season against Morecambe after he scored the winner in the 10th minute.
However, he returned for the club’s huge play-off semi-final Sheffield Wednesday on May 9. In the second leg, he returned from the bench as Sunderland drew 1-1 (and won 2-1 on aggregate).
They now face Wycombe Wanderers in the final on Saturday, May 21 – could Broadhead provide one more magic moment for the club this season?