Swansea City fans are still anxiously waiting for news regarding Connor Roberts’ future as he is still yet to follow the likes of Joe Rodon, Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes in putting pen to paper on a new contract at the Liberty Stadium.
Roberts, one of our biggest young prospects, aged 23 and starting games for Wales sees his contract with the Swans expire next Summer which means that, because he’s 23 (or older), he can negotiate with other clubs and sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a Bosman move in the Summer.
The Neath-born, versatile right-sided player broke into the first-team last season, making four Premier League appearances in addition to the 17 he’s made in the Championship this year.
After a 45-match loan spell at Yeovil Town in League Two in 2015-16, forgetful loan spells followed in 2016/17 (Bristol Rovers) and Middlesbrough (2017/18) which left him wondering if he’d spend his career in the bottom tier of the Football League but it was the Swans that have given him his big break in senior football and have provided him with an opportunity to play regular football that has attracted a Wales call-up to boot.
As a result and having still made just less than two-dozen appearances, you have to wonder what sort of contract does that warrant at a club that is desperately in need of financial savings after a long run of costly mistakes that ended in Premier League relegation.
Some fans believe that the club should pay out and offer him a contract that matches his demands but others disagree and feel that this could issues where other players would have signed contracts worth a lot less.
Rumours have it (I know you love these) but he's asking for £15k and being turned down. Disappointing if true.
— Gavin Lewis (@Gavin_Lewis77) November 17, 2018
Pay him that and a dangerous precedent is set for all those coming through the ranks and playing 15-20 games.
Hopefully a deal can be struck as he’s clearly a talent and open to improvement, but not at the cost of blowing the wage structure wide open for those coming through.
— Paul Thomas #JenkinsOut (@NeathJack1) November 18, 2018
But is this simply a situation that we could have had sorted this time last year when Dan James signed a new contract? You have to wonder why wasn’t Connor Roberts offered one at the same time to avoid this predicament? Not only that but surely he’d have settled for a much lower deal back then compared to now having established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet. We didn’t and now we face the realistic prospect of losing one of our star assets as he looks capable of developing into a quality Premier League full back.
What should we do now? I do agree with those fans like Paul Thomas above who believe that we shouldn’t break the bank to keep Connor Roberts but in addition, I still feel that it’ll be our own fault if we see him leave for free next Summer. As he says too – if you do offer him a much better deal than say Joe Rodon for example, you could potentially be inviting other players to do the same and we’re then in an impossible situation.
It was bad business not offering him one last year, as a recently under-23s player would have demanded a far lower wage.
— Vital Swansea (@VitalSwansea) November 18, 2018
As you’d expect, rumours are flying around and of course, they all contradict one another so it’s pointless even bothering to entertain what some of them suggest.
Recently he was asked about his future and contract situation and he remained coy on the subject:
“I’ve got to keep on performing well on the pitch for club and country, that’s my job.
“I’ve got representatives who will support me off the pitch. That’s their job to sort that out for me.“At the moment I just concentrate on playing well, whether it be for club or country.”
Can't see there being many takers for Naughton, given his wages. We're likely stuck with him until the end of next season, but that's no bad thing if he's contributing. Keeping Connor would be ideal but can't be held to ransom over a right back, no matter what his agent thinks.
— Jason Williams (@fmswansongs) November 19, 2018
He has every right to look for the best deal around. I just hope that deal is with Swansea. He's the one player, of all the unsigned ones, I feared we'd lose. He's also the one we need to keep the most. Heard a deal was likely but that was a few weeks ago and still nothing ????
— Steve Lewis (@UCFBfan) November 19, 2018