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Wales Online
Wales Online
Mathew Davies

Swansea City transfer news as Whittaker makes return, Walsh back and Nottingham Forest to make Ayew 30th signing of season

These are your Swansea City headlines on Thursday, February 2.

Walsh, Whittaker make comebacks

Liam Walsh has made his long-awaited comeback for Swansea last week after six months on the injury sidelines.

The midfielder ruptured his Achilles in pre-season against Haverfordwest County in July and has faced a long road to recovery. He has in recent weeks stepped up his recovery.

He played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Newport County last week, as did Morgan Whittaker, who featured for the first time since his recall from Plymouth Argyle and who will now remain in SA1 until at least the summer following his much-publicised transfer saga with Rangers.

READ MORE: Rangers rejection, strained relations and what happens next for Swansea City's Morgan Whittaker and Jamie Paterson

Walsh says he was delighted to be back and says he wants to help his team-mates as the season heads to what he hope will be an exciting conclusion.

“I am over the moon to be back out there, it’s been about six-and-a-half months since the injury, so it’s felt like a properly long time to get to this point,” said Walsh.

“But this last bit, being out on the pitch with (head of rehabilitation) Rhys (Owen) has just flown and everything has gone so well.

“I have to thank the coaching staff and the medical staff who have helped me, there have been a few down days along the way, but now I am back I am really happy.

“When I initially did the injury I was devastated, but I have put as much effort as possible in during this time to try and get myself in the best shape possible to return.

“All the physios and the strength and conditioning coaches like Rhys, Matt (Willmott) and Beth (Chaddock) have been brilliant.

“Being out there felt good, and it’s about getting back to full fitness now. I think the plan is to get some minutes with the under-21s.

“I want to get out with the lads in the first team as soon as possible, there are four months left in the season and it is the most exciting part of the season where there is plenty to play for.”

Smith: Why I signed

New Swansea signing Liam Smith says he signed for the club because of the similar playing style to his former side Manchester City.

Smith, 19, joins up with academy manager Andy Goldie at Swansea once again, having worked with him during his time with Scottish Football Association Performance Schools, and will go into Jon Grey and Anthony Wright's under-21s ranks.

Having Goldie in place in south Wales was a big pull for Smith, as well as the footballing style Russell Martin is trying to implement in SA1.

“Andy and I have a good relationship. I’ve known him since I was very young. So that was a major positive for me coming here," said Smith. “The way Swansea play, the style, philosophy and the gaffer. I was interested in coming here straight away.

“I came from Manchester City, and it’s a similar style of play to Swansea. It's about playing from the back, passing the ball and keeping hold of the ball. That style of play appeals to me massively.

“I’ve been watching the way Russell Martin implements that here, and it suits the way I want to play.

“Ultimately, the goal for me to push on into the first team, get as many minutes as I can and hopefully I can play at the stadium in front of the fantastic fans."

Ayew to Forest moves closer

Andre Ayew is back in the UK and is attracting admiring glances from Everton and Nottingham Forest.

The latter are managed by former Swansea boss Steve Cooper, who worked with Ayew during their time in SA1 together. Their previous relationship has put them in the driving seat for the free agent's signature, and the Reds are now favourites to seal a deal.

Ayew, 33, left Al Sadd by mutual consent last week with a Premier League move now top of his agenda.

Were Ayew to sign for the City Ground club, he will be reunited with Jonjo Shelvey, with whom he played during his first stint in south Wales. Shelvey joined the Reds on deadline day on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Ayew would, incredibly, be Forest's 30th signing of the 2022/23 season.

Trust want answers

Swansea City Supporters' Trust have released a statement seeking answers from the club's hierarchy over the poor transfer window just gone.

Six players left south Wales and not one signing was made, despite positive noises in the lead-up to the window from chief executive Julian Winter and head coach Russell Martin repeatedly stating his squad needed strengthening in certain areas of the pitch.

The Trust have now requested - and have been granted - a meeting with the majority owners and board to discuss the inactivity.

"We are not afraid of having difficult conversations with the club or our fellow owners – we recognise that the animosity and lack of transparency for fans is not productive or tenable in the long term and must be addressed," the Trust wrote. "While it would be unhelpful to speculate on exactly what went wrong, it’s clear that the processes within the club didn’t work as they needed to in this window, whether that was in player trading, or in the communications that set expectations for fans at the end of 2022. The club and the majority owners have agreed to our request for an urgent meeting to discuss the transfer window, and the medium-to-long-term strategy – both in terms of squad management and transfer activity."

They have also laid down four questions they want answers to - you can read more about those here.


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