Disappointing Swansea City signing which is a rare example of Swans transfer to consider – Guto Llewelyn
If someone had told me in January that in 10 months Viktor Gyökeres would be one of the league’s top scorers, I would have found it hard to believe.
But at 14 games in the 2021-22 season, the former Swan has nine goals under his belt and only Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ben Brereton Diaz and Dominic Solanke have scored more than him across the division.
He played an important role in Coventry City’s success early in the season, with his good form being one of the main reasons they enter fourth in the table this weekend. At the head of the Sky Blues, he has regained a confidence and an attacking instinct that allow him to stand out from the crowd.
On Tuesday night he will face his former club, a different player from the one who left Swansea with a bang in January.
Gyökeres was nowhere near as bad as many of his boo-boys would have made him believe. The way some fans celebrated his departure, you would think he was some sort of cancer in the locker room.
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But it’s fair to say that the Sweden international didn’t make much of an impression on his brief loan spell at Wales. He had very little impact during his four months at the club, starting just two league games and playing a total of 276 minutes for the Swans.
His only goal at Swansea came in a routine FA Cup victory over Stevenage, but other than his close range header his performance in that game summed up a frustrating loan spell for the youngster. It was his last game for the Swans as his loan was cut short by parent club Brighton as he was sent to Coventry instead.
Gyökeres never sympathized with Swansea. He couldn’t knock down Jamal Lowe and Andre Ayew in the Swansea attack and didn’t have much of an impact each time he came off the bench.
Some loans don’t work and that was certainly the case here. But failing at a club shouldn’t see a young player stranded for life.
Gyökeres took a long time to find its feet in the Midlands. He only scored three goals in the second half of last season despite playing much more consistent.
But after making his move permanent over the summer, the Swede has found a new lease of life. He has scored a goal every 128 minutes and seems to be brimming with confidence.
There is no real comparison between the Viktor Gyökeres who was so anonymous in Swansea and the one who will seek to harm his former employers on Tuesday.
That’s not to say Swansea was wrong to let him go. Steve Cooper had two forwards in Lowe and Ayew who played a leading role in a promotional campaign. There weren’t many opportunities for Gyökeres to make a good impression and on the rare occasions he did get the chance he couldn’t make the most of it.
It wasn’t a good choice back then and there was no sign that he would become the player he is today.
Gyökeres is a very rare example of a player who failed at Swansea but then thrived with a club of a similar or higher level.
The most recent examples I can think of are Tammy Abraham and Renato Sanches, both on loan at Swansea in the terrible 2017-18 relegation season.
Abraham started this season very brightly, but playing in such a dysfunctional setup quickly saw its impact diminish, while Sanches was an absolute disaster from day one. It was a damaging season for both players, but both ended up shedding the stench of that rotten campaign to become the best players.
Abraham is now in the lead for Roma in Serie A and Sanches was a key player in Lille’s shocking Ligue 1 triumph last season.
Sometimes players are just not suitable for a certain manager, system or environment. Sometimes they arrive at a club where they should be the perfect fit, but other factors in their personal lives can stand in the way and sometimes, as was probably the case with Gyökeres, a player who just hasn’t made it to the top yet. point where he’s ready for that kind of challenge.
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Many top players had moves in their youth that didn’t work, but they showed their quality in the long run.
Harry Kane had famous loans at Leyton Orient, Millwall and Norwich, but never looked like a potential world batsman at any of these clubs. He has become England captain and has over 200 goals at Tottenham Hotspur.
Serge Gnabry only made one league appearance on loan with West Brom in 2015-16, but he is now a regular for Germany who have won three league titles and a Champions League.
I’m by no means saying that Gyökeres will someday be close to achieving what any of these players achieved, but these are all examples of players who were largely written off very early in their careers but later became exceptional footballers. .
It is not because a youngster fails in a certain club that he must be entirely struck off. A little understanding and patience is needed with young players, even those who seem to be going through difficult times.
It didn’t work for Gyökeres in Swansea, but he had the strength to persevere and overcome this disappointment. He deserves a lot of credit for what he has accomplished so far this season and I hope he can continue to grow. Let’s just hope he has an evening off Tuesday.
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