Swansea City’s relegation to the Championship this season provides an opportunity for some of the fringe players to step up and prove themselves in the first team. Premier League football has starved some of them of opportunities – with many forced to go out on loan for first-team football.
While some of those players who went out on loan this year are expected to leave – notably Jordi Amat and Roque Mesa, there are others who are expected to return and fight for a starting role as the Swans prepare for their first season in the Championship since 2010/11 when Brendan Rodgers guided us to Play-Off final success at Wembley.
One of those players returning from a loan spell this Summer is 24-year-old midfielder Jay Fulton, who spent around 5 months at League One title-winning side Wigan Athletic, making 5 appearances, scoring one goal.
In his first 9 games, he was an unused substitute in 3, not included in 2, started 3 and came off the bench in the other. After that, he was not even in the matchday squad for all but one of the remaining 10 games, as he started in a 1-0 home win against Oxford United.
The former Falkirk man joined the Swans in January 2014 and has since made 18 Premier League appearances, 7 of which were during Bob Bradley’s disastrous 11-game spell as manager during the 2016/17 campaign.
Fulton was then a forgotten man again when Paul Clement replaced the American, with the likes of Carroll, Fer, Sigurdsson, Cork and Ki all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Fulton has always looked like a limited midfielder, a defensive one who sits in front of the back four, looks to win the ball before quickly distributing it. He’s never been a player to shy out of a tackle and that’s something that we needed last season having looked soft in far too many games, but you can’t help but feel that Fulton has little else to offer, and it seems that that is a view shared by Latics fans:
“Yep spot on. Thing is we already have a player who can do that so we need someone next to him who is a little more creative and Fulton wasn’t that player. More than good enough at top level League One.” – C_Latic
‘Anonymous and a Liability’
“He was good against Man City on the night when everyone played to their best but was quite poor in every other game. In a couple of those games he was quite anonymous and some a liability. He was brought in to compete for the central midfield position Lee Evan vacated when he went to Sheffield United but he got his chances and didn’t look good enough. After covering for suspensions or international call up for Morsy a couple of games after he first arrived he fell out of the match day squads and wasn’t seen again – I don’t think anyone argued he should’ve been used more.
He won’t be back at Wigan and i can’t see Swansea using him either tbh.
We didn’t see loads of him but from what we did see he isn’t a good L1 player. On social media Oldham fans said he was poor for them when he was on loan and Swansea fans said he could do a good job for us. We got the Oldham experience.” – king_dezeeuw06
“Can’t fault his commitment, threw himself in front of everything in that City game which is rare for a loan player. Decent player, neat and tidy on the ball, good positioning and has a shot on him based on the Walsall game but nothing special about him by any means. Wasn’t as good at Lee Evans and we’ll need better going forward as will you. I suspect he’ll find a good home at a top 8 League One club.” – C_Latic
‘Decent on the ball, sceptical off it’
“He scored a great goal in one game, he played real well vs city when he came on, other than that not alot to offer really, he is decent on the ball but a bit skeptical off the ball apart from the city game.” – FrancosLoveChild
‘A good squad player for you’
“I thought he did okay overall. He didn’t have a run of games to give him the chance to fully settle in to the way our manager players.
It is worth noting that our central midfielders have quite a unique role in that as well as being deep, possession based midfielders, they tuck in to cover the full-backs when they push on.
On the whole I’d guess he’s a good squad player for you in the Championship but I’d be worried if you are aiming for promotion and are banking on him as part of your first eleven.“ – russialatic
‘Hopefully he’ll prove us wrong’
“I think if we’re being honest he didn’t impress nor did he make much of an impact – City game aside, though everyone put their heart and soul into that. In his defence he didn’t really get a run in the team as Morsy and Power were the better options. He’s not a player we would be clamouring to sign and I’d be concerned if he was to be considered a first choice Championship midfielder. Nothing against the lad so hopefully he will prove us all wrong.” – Made in Wigan
Hardly inspiring comments there from the Wigan fans but maybe he’ll improve if he can settle again back at the Liberty. He never stood out for us but there were some games where he looked solid enough in a deep-lying midfield role.
What do you think? What did you make of his performances for us, particularly when he had a run of games during the 2016/17 season? Can he make a return or is he likely to be another dud that we end up selling? Let us know in the comments below and in the Message Forum here