With Premier League football next season finally secured for Swansea City, the remaining two games could be a perfect opportunity to integrate some of the younger players into the first-team.
Sunday’s impressive 3-1 victory over a weakened Liverpool side mathematically sealed Swansea’s top-flight status for another campaign, and now the fans, players and coaches can breathe a long sigh of relief.
We can somewhat enjoy the last two games of a rather stressful season, albeit in the remaining fixtures the Swans travel to West Ham United and then conclude things with a home tie against Manchester City.
Despite the two very tough encounters coming up, I think now would be a good time to experiment with some of the younger players in the squad. Give them a taste of what it’s like in some big Premier League games, build up their confidence and it’ll put them in good stead going forward into next season.
The Swansea Under-21s have had a very impressive campaign with the likes of Liam Shephard, Stephen Kingsley, Raheem Hanley, Jay Fulton, Henry Jones, Daniel James, Oliver McBurnie and Kenji Gorre all showcasing their undoubted quality for the Welsh club.
A few of those players have tasted first-team action in Kingsley, Fulton and Gorre, and that aforementioned trio are all ready for the step up. Kingsley has featured a few times this season and has received outstanding praise for a few impeccable performances, and Fulton has played in a handful of games for the first-team, and hasn’t done a lot wrong at all.
Gorre has made one showing in the first-team – in the final game of last season – but definitely deserves another shot. The 21-year-old Dutchman scored 18 and assisted 10 goals last season for the Under-21s, and his outstanding form earned himself a loan move to Eredivisie outfit ADO Den Haag at the beginning of the term.
However, his time in the Netherlands’ top-flight was disappointing to say the least, only picking up a handful of appearances. He returned to South Wales in January, and has picked up from where he left off, becoming a tremendous force on the left wing.
With the club spending millions on new training facilities for the youth academies, spending time and effort nurturing the younger players, why not give them a chance and reward them after a brilliant season.
I’m not saying field seven or eight Under-21s players against West Ham or Man City, but I’d love to see Kingsley get a game or two. Perhaps a couple substitute appearances for the likes of Fulton, Shephard, Gorre and McBurnie too.
There’s phenomenal talent in the youth ranks at Swansea, so why not take advantage of that. Plus; next season, England Under-20 captain Matt Grimes will be back from his loan at Blackburn, and I wouldn’t object him having a run in the team either.
The Swans defeated Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium with the likes of Kingsley and Fulton on the field, so within consideration, I don’t think it’d be overly risky to play some of the youngsters against the Hammers or Citizens. The future’s very bright for Swansea.