Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup puts faith in Ben Davies
MICHAEL Laudrup snubbed bigger-name left-backs for Dwight Tiendalli because the Dutchman is ready to go in the Premier League — but Ben Davies will start at Aston Villa tomorrow.
Swansea City’s manager has explained how he turned to Tiendalli after Neil Taylor got injured because the former Holland Under-21 international played regular football in the Eredivisie last season.
Swansea took advice from a number of contacts — including former England boss Steve McClaren — before handing Tiendalli a one-year deal.
But the 26-year-old is set for a place on the bench at Villa Park because Laudrup believes Davies has earned a starting chance.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Neath-born teenager did a sound job after replacing Taylor in the draw with Sunderland a fortnight ago.
And Laudrup has given Davies a major vote of confidence by revealing that he will make his first Premier League start this weekend.
“Ben did great against Sunderland and he will play,” said the Swansea manager.
“But we have brought in Dwight because you need more than one player in each position, and also because it is not fair to ask a 19-year-old to play all season in the Premier League.”
After Taylor was ruled out for the campaign, Swansea were linked with veteran Italian World Cup winner Fabio Grosso, while ex-Bolton left-back Paul Robinson was another of the names discussed by the club’s decision-makers.
But after whittling down the list of free agents Swansea went for Tiendalli, who has spent time with Ajax, Feyenoord, Sparta Rotterdam and FC Twente, where he played regularly last term.
“We made a list of possibilities and as well as quality, one of the most important things for me was to get a player who has played a lot of games recently,” Laudrup added.
“There were bigger names, more well-known names, but it was very important that Dwight played last season.
“He is right-footed, but he has played 90 per cent of his games at left-back.
“I don’t know exactly why he ended up as a free agent. I think he was offered a new contract (at Twente) but sometimes players want more than they are offered.
“He could not agree, he waited until the end of the season and then suddenly things can change.”
While Davies starts at left-back, Alan Tate will get a chance in central defence tomorrow with Chico Flores suspended and Kyle Bartley out for three months.
Swansea’s long-standing vice-captain has made well over 300 appearances for the club, but this will be only his second top-flight start.
“We have three players out in defence, but we still have good players to play there,” Laudrup said.
“We have Ashley (Williams) and Alan. If we didn’t have those two we would have a problem, but we have two good central defenders there and we only play with two.”
Club skipper Garry Monk is not yet fit after a back injury, with Laudrup suggesting he is still at least a week from a possible return. But even with Swansea’s current problems, Laudrup has again indicated that Monk could be allowed to leave SA1.
“It’s a decision Garry has to make,” he said. “He is a grown-up and he has played for many years. He has to decide what’s best for him in the short-term and the long-term, and I will always respect his decision.”
Laudrup, meantime, is hopeful that Swansea will soon agree contract extensions with Williams, Taylor and Michel Vorm.
“I think it’s very important,” he said.
“You always want your best players to stay, and giving out better contracts shows that you appreciate what they have done, what they are doing and what they can do in the future.”