View from Wales questions whether it’s proved ‘Grass is Greener’ for Newcastle signings from Swansea
There has been a report put together by Wales Online on the host of players who ended up leaving after Swansea were relegated last season.
The report questioning whether those leaving have found that the ‘Grass is Greener’ at their new clubs.
The list includes of course Federico Fernandez and Ki Sung-yeung.
With the South Korean midfielder, it appeared that both parties wanted to go their separate ways,Swansea wanting him off their wage bill and Ki wanting Premier League football if possible. Now 30, he knew he would have limited opportunities.
Slightly different for Federico Fernandez, although he is also now 30. The former Argentine international actually kicked off the season still playing for Swansea and it was a serious pre-season injury for Florian Lejenue that forced Rafa Benitez to act on deadline day to bring in somebody who had played for him at Napoli.
The Wales Online write-ups on Ki Sung-yeung and Federico Fernandez:
The centre-back has arguably been the main success story of the players who left Landore after relegation.
Has played 20 times for Newcastle as the Toon look increasingly likely to be playing top-flight football again next term.’
The same levels of success can’t be applied to Ki at St James’ Park, though.
Struggled to get into Rafa Benitez’s first-team plans at the start of the season, then when he did the Asian Cup and a subsequent injury halted all momentum.
Has seen local product Sean Longstaff leapfrog him in the pecking order.’
To be honest, I think both players have experienced pretty much what they expected at Newcastle in terms of first team action.
I’m assuming that both players knew they wouldn’t be automatic first choice and would have to wait for their chance.
Fernandez has started 16 games in the Premier League and three in the cups, getting his chance through injuries to other players and excellent before the new year. However, once likes of Lejeune was back to full fitness, has suffered to the form of both the Frenchman and Fabian Schar.
For Ki, he has made 10 Premier League starts and two appearances from the bench, plus a start in the League Cup back in August.
If not for the Asian Cup and injury I think he would have ended up starting more than half of the 31 PL games so far.
Last season at Swansea, Ki wasn’t always an automatic starter and was named 21 times in the PL first eleven. Fernandez also on the bench at times, he started 30 PL games in their relegation season.
After such a big turnover of players, the Welsh club have struggled at times, currently sitting 15th in the Championship, though they were very unlucky not to beat Man City and reach the FA Cup semis last weekend.
If Ki gets a few more games in these last seven PL games, then I think both former Swansea players can be happy with their game time this season, whilst they have proved decent signings for Rafa Benitez as he had to work with such a limited budget.
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