Adam Clayton (footballer)

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Adam Clayton
Manchester United v Middlesbrough, December 2016 (23) (cropped).JPG
Clayton playing for Middlesbrough in December 2016
Personal information
Full name Adam Stephen Clayton[1]
Date of birth (1989-01-14) 14 January 1989 (age 31)[2]
Place of birth Manchester, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[3]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 8
Youth career
1996–2008 Manchester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Manchester City 0 (0)
2009–2010Carlisle United (loan) 28 (1)
2010Leeds United (loan) 2 (0)
2010–2012 Leeds United 45 (6)
2010–2011Peterborough United (loan) 7 (0)
2011Milton Keynes Dons (loan) 6 (1)
2012–2014 Huddersfield Town 85 (11)
2014–2020 Middlesbrough 213 (1)
2020– Birmingham City 2 (0)
National team
2009 England U20 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:47, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

Adam Stephen Clayton (born 14 January 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Championship club Birmingham City.

His professional career started at Manchester City. While a City player, he enjoyed loan spells at Carlisle United, with whom he reached the 2010 Football League Trophy Final, and Leeds United, where his loan spell was made permanent basis in 2010. Clayton then had further loan spells at Peterborough United and Milton Keynes Dons before becoming a regular in Leeds' team in the 2011–12 season. He then spent two years with Huddersfield Town, and signed for Middlesbrough in 2014. While at the club, he was promoted to and relegated from the Premier League and formed a midfield partnership with Grant Leadbitter. He spent six seasons at Middlesbrough before leaving the club in 2020 when his contract expired. He then joined another Championship club, Birmingham City.

He was a member of England's under-20 team at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Manchester City[edit]

Clayton was born in Manchester.[2] He joined Manchester City at the age of seven,[4] and signed his first professional contract with the club in May 2007.[5] Given the number 31 shirt for the 2008–09 season,[6] Clayton was an unused substitute in the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion in December 2008,[7] and again in an FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest in January 2009.[8] On 5 May, he signed a two-year contract extension.[4]

Carlisle United (loan)[edit]

After seeking the advice of his teammate Craig Bellamy,[9] Clayton joined League One club Carlisle United on 2 November 2009 on loan until January 2010.[10] He made his professional debut five days later in a 2–2 draw with Morecambe in the FA Cup, coming on as a second-half substitute for Tom Taiwo.[11] On 10 November, Clayton scored his first senior goal in Carlisle's 3–1 away win against Chesterfield in the Football League Trophy,[12] and he made his Football League debut four days later in a 3–2 loss to Bristol Rovers.[12] In the last match of his loan spell, Clayton's poor backpass led to Everton taking the lead in the FA Cup third round, but within minutes, he made a powerful run and his shot was deflected in for an equaliser; Everton scored two late goals to win 3–1.[13]

The loan was extended to the end of the season.[14] He scored against Leeds United in the Football League Trophy semifinal second leg, and converted his penalty in the shootout that took Carlisle through to the final.[15] Clayton played the whole of the final, which Carlisle lost 4–1 to Southampton.[16] He made 36 appearances for Carlisle in all competitions and scored three goals.[12]

Leeds United[edit]

Clayton joined Championship club Leeds United on a month's loan on 6 August 2010,[17] and made his debut the following day as a 76th-minute substitute in a 2–1 home defeat against Derby County.[18] Manchester City refused permission for him to play in the League Cup.[citation needed] After one more brief outing, Clayton signed a three-year permanent contract with Leeds; the fee was undisclosed.[19][20]

Loan spells[edit]

Clayton joined League One club Peterborough United on 19 November on a month's loan to gain experience and match fitness.[21] He made his debut as a second-half substitute against Southampton,[18] impressed when the weather permitted, and the loan was extended until 30 January 2011.[22] Although Leeds had refused permission for Clayton to play in the FA Cup second round,[23] he was allowed to play in the third round, in which Peterborough lost heavily to Premiership team Fulham,[24] and finished his loan spell with eight appearances.[18]

Having got no closer to Leeds' first team, Clayton joined another League One club, Milton Keynes Dons, on 24 March on loan until the end of the season.[25] He made six league appearances and scored once – a stoppage-time winner against his former club Carlisle United[26] – to help MK Dons reach the play-off semifinals, in which they were eliminated 4–3 on aggregate by Peterborough United.[18] MK Dons manager Karl Robinson felt Clayton was one of the better players in League One and would re-sign him if the opportunity arose, but expected him to make a success of the coming season with Leeds.[26]

Return to Leeds[edit]

With first choice midfielders Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson having both left Leeds United in the 2011–12 pre-season, Clayton proclaimed that he was wanting to stake a claim to play in the first team alongside Jonny Howson for the upcoming season.[27] He started the pre-season as a Leeds' first choice midfielder, being paired alongside Jonny Howson and Michael Brown mostly in a five-man midfield.[28]

On the opening day of the season, Clayton made his first start for Leeds as they lost 3–1 against Southampton, he won the penalty for Leeds which was converted by Max Gradel.[29] He won the man of the match award for Leeds in their 3–2 victory against Bradford City, he assisted Leeds' first goal for teammate Ramón Núñez.[30][31] In Leeds' 1–0 loss against Middlesbrough Clayton almost scored his first goal for the club with a long range shot from the halfway line which was tipped over the bar by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.[32] He then started his fourth game of the season against Hull City where he received another man of the match award.[33] Clayton received praise from manager, Simon Grayson who was very impressed with his performances at Leeds.[34] He scored his first ever goal for Leeds with a late equaliser against West Ham United on 21 August in a 2–2 draw, Clayton also received the man of the match award for the second consecutive game.[35]

He missed Leeds' game against Crystal Palace on 10 September with a calf injury.[36] Clayton returned to the Leeds starting lineup in the following game against Bristol City, where he scored the opening goal of the game for Leeds.[37] Clayton put in a strong performance against rivals Manchester United despite Leeds losing 3–0.[38] He attracted the interest of several Premiership clubs,[39] but said he was hoping to stay at Leeds for a 'very long time'.[40][41] Clayton scored his third goal of the season against his former club Peterborough United on 22 October.[42] He received the man of the match award in the game against Cardiff City on 30 October.[43] Clayton scored his 4th goal of the season on 6 November which proved to be the match winner against Leicester City in a 1–0 win.[44] His 5th goal of the season came on 29 November in Leeds' 4–0 win against Nottingham Forest.[45] In April 2012, Clayton received a 2 match ban for accumulating 10 yellow cards over the course of the season.[46]

After his first season in the team, Leeds entered negotiations with the player about extending his current deal.[47] Clayton revealed that he was hoping to sign a new deal at Leeds and reiterated his desire to stay at the club beyond his current deal.[48][49] After the club failed to meet the wage demands of the player during contract negotiations Clayton was transfer listed by Neil Warnock at the end of the 2011–12 season.[50]

Huddersfield Town[edit]

On 6 July 2012, he joined newly promoted Huddersfield Town for a fee of £350,000[51] fee, where former Leeds United manager Simon Grayson was the manager, becoming his fourth signing of the 2012–13 season.[52] Clayton was given the number 8 shirt by manager Simon Grayson on 12 July 2012 formerly worn by teammate Anthony Kay.[53] He made his Huddersfield début in the League Cup first round 2–0 away defeat to Preston North End on 13 August 2012, playing the full 90 minutes of the game.[54] Clayton made his league début in a 1–0 defeat by Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium on 17 August. He scored his first goal for Huddersfield with the opening goal in the side's 2–2 league draw away to Ipswich Town on 1 September 2012.[55] Clayton scored his second Huddersfield goal with a penalty in a 3–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on 19 September 2012.[56] During January 2014, Huddersfield rejected a £1million transfer bid from Brighton & Hove Albion to sign Clayton.[51] He ended the 2013–14 season by winning the Club's Player of the Year award after making 42 league appearances, scoring 7 goals.[57]

Middlesbrough[edit]

Clayton (right) watches Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho on the final day of the 2016–17 Premier League season

On 13 August 2014, Clayton signed a four-year deal with Middlesbrough after a long transfer process for an undisclosed fee believed to be £1.5 million plus add-ons.[58] He was handed the number 8 shirt, previously worn by Jacob Butterfield who signed for Huddersfield in the swap deal.[59]

Adam Clayton became an integral player in the Middlesbrough midfield under manager Aitor Karanka, forming a formidable partnership alongside club captain Grant Leadbitter.

On 7 May 2016, Clayton won promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough after a 1–1 draw at home against Brighton & Hove Albion.[60]

With the arrival of Marten de Roon in the summer of 2016, it was reported that Clayton and Leadbitter could leave Middlesbrough, though they both stayed, as Karanka promised the midfield duo game time in the Premier League. Despite their efforts, the club were immediately relegated back down to the Championship for the 2017–18 season.[61]

Garry Monk replaced Karanka as manager for the forthcoming Championship season, and brought in two new central midfielders Lewis Baker and Jonny Howson, though Clayton continued to play regular first team football. However, the club failed to meet their league expectations, with them placed just below the play-off positions, Monk was sacked,[62] to be replaced by Tony Pulis shortly afterwards.[63]

When Karanka returned to management with a poor-performing Nottingham Forest side, it was reported that Karanka was looking to sign his former Middlesbrough stars, including Clayton, Leadbitter and Patrick Bamford.[64] However, they all pledged their loyalty and commitment to Middlesbrough and stayed at the Riverside, though fellow Middlesbrough midfielder Adlène Guedioura left to return to Forest, one of his former clubs.[65]

Having failed to agree to a new contract, Clayton confirmed his departure through social media, with the club also reporting the news the following day: new manager Neil Warnock had informed him that he was not needed at the club and he departed on holiday on the same day as the final game of the Championship season.[66]

Birmingham City[edit]

On 1 September 2020, Clayton joined his former manager Aitor Karanka at Birmingham City, where he signed a two-year contract with an option for a further year.[67] He made his debut as a second-half substitute in the opening fixture of the season, a 1–0 defeat at home to fourth-tier Cambridge United in the EFL Cup.[68]

International career[edit]

Clayton made his debut for the England under-20 team in a victory over Italy under-20s early in 2009.[69] He was called up for the England U20 squad in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Clayton was given the number four shirt for the tournament.

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 19 September 2020
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester City 2008–09[70] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10[12] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Carlisle United (loan) 2009–10[12] League One 28 1 3 0 5[a] 2 36 3
Leeds United 2010–11[18] Championship 4 0 0 0 4 0
2011–12[71] Championship 43 6 1 0 2 0 46 6
Total 47 6 1 0 2 0 50 6
Peterborough United (loan) 2010–11[18] League One 7 0 1 0 8 0
Milton Keynes Dons (loan) 2010–11[18] League One 6 1 2[b] 0 8 1
Huddersfield Town 2012–13[72] Championship 43 4 4 1 1 0 48 5
2013–14[73] Championship 42 7 2 0 2 0 46 7
Total 85 11 6 1 3 0 94 12
Middlesbrough 2014–15[74] Championship 41 0 3 0 2 0 3[c] 0 49 0
2015–16[75] Championship 43 1 1 0 4 0 48 1
2016–17[76] Premier League 34 0 4 0 1 0 39 0
2017–18[77] Championship 32 0 2 0 1 0 2[c] 0 37 0
2018–19[78] Championship 36 0 2 0 0 0 38 0
2019–20[79] Championship 27 0 2 0 1 0 30 0
Total 213 1 14 0 9 0 5 0 241 1
Birmingham City 2020–21[80] Championship 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Career total 388 20 25 1 15 0 12 2 440 23
  1. ^ Appearances in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in League One play-offs
  3. ^ a b Appearances in Championship play-offs

Honours[edit]

Carlisle United

Middlesbrough

Individual

References[edit]

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External links[edit]