Nyatanga while at Derby County in 2006
|Full name||Lewin John Nyatanga|
|Date of birth||18 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Burton upon Trent, England|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2006–2007||→ Sunderland (loan)||11||(0)|
|2007||→ Barnsley (loan)||10||(1)|
|2007–2008||→ Barnsley (loan)||25||(0)|
|2008||→ Barnsley (loan)||16||(1)|
|2010||→ Peterborough United (loan)||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:37, 3 January 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Nyatanga developed as a player through Derby's academy, signing professional terms for the club in August 2005 and making his senior debut in a League Cup tie against Grimsby Town, going on to feature in over half of Derby's league games during the 2005–06 season, primarily at centreback, scoring his first goal a 2–1 win over Stoke City.
Despite starting the 2006–07 season in the first team picture, Nyatanga lost his place in the first team and was loaned out to fellow Championship side Sunderland for four months in October 2006. Whilst at Sunderland, Nyatanga played left back due to an injury to Stephen Wright and Clive Clarke leaving on loan. Sunderland boss Roy Keane was reportedly interested in signing Nyatanga in a £1.5m move in January 2007. Derby manager Billy Davies said there was a possibility that Nyatanga could join Sunderland permanently, however, no bid was ever tabled by Sunderland.
Nyatanaga returned to Derby in January 2007, only to join Barnsley a month later on a three-month loan deal. Nyantanga helped the club to some vital wins during his time at Barnsley, including a surprise 1–0 win over promotion hopefuls Birmingham City and a vital 3–1 win away over relegation rivals Southend United. Nyantanga was recalled to Derby on 16 April after injury and suspension, respectively, to two key defenders in Michael Johnson and Darren Moore, left Derby with only one natural centre half. In his first game after returning to Derby he scored the winner against Luton Town on 20 April which sent Derby back into the automatic promotion places and relegated Luton. Nyatanga lost his place when Moore and Johnson returned, and was not in the 16 for the 2007 Playoff victory.
Nyatanga signed a new 4-year contract in the summer of 2007, and returned to Barnsley on a six-month loan shortly after. He formed an impressive partnership with Dennis Souza at the heart of Barnsley's defence, but was recalled by Derby in January 2008. On 19 January 2008, Nyatanga scored on his Premier League debut at Portsmouth in the 5th minute, which gave Derby a 1–0 lead, though Derby went on to lose the game 3–1 after a Benjani hat-trick. That was to be his only Premier League game of the season and his first of only 3 appearances for Derby that season, as he was sent back out on loan to Barnsley for the remainder of the 2007–8 season.
During the 2008–09 season, Nyatanga was initially out of the first team picture, behind Martin Albrechtsen and Dean Leacock. A season-ending injury to Leacock gave Nyatanga a chance to establish himself and he featured predominantly from November onwards, going on to make 30 league appearances, scoring once – the first in a 3–1 hammering of fierce local rivals Nottingham Forest. He also played in the League Cup semi final 1st leg against Manchester United, a game which Derby won 1–0.
Nyatanga was injured during pre-season 2010/11, once recovered he was sent out on loan to Peterborough United to gain some match fitness.
Although born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, Nyatanga qualifies for Wales through parentage, having been born to a Zimbabwean father and Welsh mother. Nyatanga holds the records for being the youngest captain and youngest player ever to play for the Welsh Under-21s. On 1 March 2006, aged 17 years and 195 days, he made his full international debut for Wales in a friendly match against Paraguay in Cardiff, breaking Ryan Green's record as the youngest ever Welsh international. Despite his inexperience, with only 17 first team appearances for Derby behind him, he played "a key role" in the goalless draw. Wales' match against Trinidad and Tobago in May 2006 marked Nyatanga's second international appearance, and also saw his age record broken by 16-year old teammate Gareth Bale. He has mostly been a regular and was recalled to the U-21 team to help them qualify for the 2009 European Championships but they narrowly lost 5–4 on aggregate to England in the play-offs. His most recent appearance for Wales came in a friendly against Sweden, where he replaced Gareth Bale midway through the second half.
- Derby County
- Championship play-off Winner – 2006-07
- Young Player of the Year – 2005-06
- Welsh Football Writer's Young Player of the Year – 2006
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 77. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 980. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
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- "Nyatanga called up to Wales squad". BBC Sport. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "Wales 0–0 Paraguay". BBC Sport. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "Nyatanga to build on Wales debut". BBC Sport. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Jones, Matt. "Raise Your Game – Lewin Nyatanga". BBC Wales. Retrieved 2009-05-27.