Swansea City are in the market for a right back, with reports linking them with free agent Gregory van der Wiel
Swansea City are in the market for a right back, with reports linking them with free agent Gregory van der Wiel – so who is the Dutch international?
The 28 year-old has spent 4 years at French side PSG, but after failing to earn a regular first team place, he has turned down a new contract to go in search of regular football elsewhere. Speculation suggests that he is keen on a move to the Premier League.
West Ham appear to be Swansea’s main rivals for his services, who have apparently offered the player a contract already – you’d have to admit that the Swans might find it tough to compete with the Hammers, who recently had a £31m bid rejected for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. Inter Milan have also been linked with the player. But having said that, the Swans should be able to compete in terms of wages, as they’ve offered big wages in the past to attract free agents to sign – most notably Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew.
West Ham have also qualified once again for the Europa League next season after Manchester United’s FA Cup win, which is also appealing – but the Swans would most certainly be the one definite club who could guarantee first team football every week. Neither Angel Rangel or Kyle Naughton look capable of playing a full season at right back in 2016/17, with both players being used in that position during the last year. Head coach Francesco Guidolin will surely want a quicker, younger and fitter player than Rangel to operate the right flank and a player like van der Wiel would compliment Stephen Kingsley on the opposite side.
The Italian coach revealed after being confirmed as our manager next season, that he would be able to ask for characteristics in new players coming in, but ultimately the final decision would be down to the club. van der Wiel appears to meet the type of player that Guidolin would like – especially in the right back position – pace, attacking and crossing ability.
Two flying full backs in the side would give the Swans a huge boost. It would add much needed pace in the team, and Guidolin always wants his full backs to offer attacking width whichever formation he uses. The Italian has recently said he prefers either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, and the former would require attacking full backs with the wingers playing slightly more central roles. This is something we saw to great affect at West Ham incidentally when we won 4-1. The likes of Barrow and Routledge playing slightly inside to allow for Kingsley and Naughton to attack down the touchlines.
So is he any good?
One of our directors John van Zweden isn’t convinced! See his tweet below:
? john van zweden (@johnvanzweden) May 22, 2016
van der Wiel is a pacey, attacking right back – known for his crossing ability, and as we said would compliment Kingsley well, but question marks remain over his defensive ability. He could definitely play as a wing back if Guidolin did choose to adopt his 3-5-1-1 system that worked so well for him at Udinese.
He started his career at Ajax, before joining PSG in a £4.5m move in 2012. This season he’s made 17 Ligue 1 appearances – scoring 2 goals with 3 assists, 6 Champions League appearances plus another 4 cup appearances. He has 45 caps for his country.