Wednesday 30th January 2013
Well, is he? After unspectacular stints at eight clubs including four loan spells (two of which were with Queens Park Rangers in the Championship), Wayne Routledge is now flourishing under the guidance of Michael Laudrup as part of one of the most exciting teams in the Premier League in Swansea City. And for once it seems he may be settling for an uninterrupted period of time without the need to be shipped out on loan elsewhere as he has just signed a new four-year contract with the Swans.
His somewhat rapid progression began last season with Brendan Rogers at the helm. He has always been a pacey, tricky winger with the ability to get round other players, but this season he has been doing it consistently for a side that play one of the most exciting and pleasurable brands of football in England’s top division, one in which Routledge is very much an important part of. He had not scored in the Premier League in a career that spanned five top-flight clubs until last season in a game against Aston Villa. At the previous five clubs he played for in the Premiership he scored none and provided 15 assists in 99 appearances; whereas he has already laid on 10 assists and scored six goals in 40 showings for Swansea in the past two seasons.
These facts could be due to Routledge playing further forward in a more prominent attacking role for the Welsh based side, but it still doesn’t discount the remarkable improvements he has made during his time with them. He’s a player who has always had the ability to achieve the level of performance that he is currently portraying (just listen to what all of his ex-managers have to say about him), but injuries and established systems and players kept him out.
Are there other players that could lay claim to being the most improved player this season compared to previous ones? Marouane Fellaini perhaps? Or does the accolade belong to Mr. Routledge?
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