After the outstanding win against Arsenal on Wednesday night, one of the most satisfying findings from the game was the performance of defender, Jordi Amat.
Since signing for the Swans in the summer of 2013 from Espanyol for £2.5 million, I’ve been one of Amat’s biggest admirers. Most of the time when I’ve seen him on the field, he’s looked pretty reliable in defence, and is very good with the ball at his feet, as per the stereotypical Spanish footballer. Plus, his attitude is second to none.
Injury has blighted any consistent runs for him in the Swansea squad, though, which is a massive frustration for Amat himself, and Swansea City, who’d love to have the 23-year-old at their disposal every week.
In his first season at the Liberty Stadium, Amat did enjoy a fairly decent amount of football, making 30 appearances in all competitions – which included the Europa League that campaign. For the majority of 2013/14, he looked an adequate player, although was only 21-years-old at the time. He’s matured greatly since.
The next season, when Chico Flores departed for Qatar, Amat found himself playing in Swansea’s first four games and again, he did fairly well, only conceding one goal in the first three games. However, Federico Fernandez was then brought in, and as bad luck would have it, Amat couldn’t remain to stake his claim for the starting spot alongside Ashley Williams after acquiring a nasty injury which would rule him out for the next four months.
He was back to fitness in January 2015, but could only manage a couple of FA Cup games and a few Premier League substitute showings. His first Premiership start of the 2015 came away at Leicester City in April where he played at left-back – although it did not work out for him at all on the left side as the Swans lost 2-0. Injury then ruled him out of Swansea’s last few games of that season, and returned to South Wales for pre-season, still not fully fit.
This season, injury has steered clear of Amat, thankfully. Although he’s not played too much of a part in the Swans squad, my argument now is that the Spaniard should start more, a lot more.
In my opinion, Fernandez has been quite sloppy recently. I do like the Argentine; I think he’s a great defender, but on the ball he has a knack of giving the ball away and doesn’t know what to do when the ball gets to his feet. To keep Fernandez on his toes, start Amat against Norwich.
Amat’s more than capable, and he should be rewarded for his loyalty too. In modern football, if a player’s not playing regularly, he’ll leave straight away. However, Amat is remaining tremendously patient, and has even extended his contract until 2018. He’ll always put in a shift, and with more game time he’ll become a better player. Looking further down the line, he also could become Ashley Williams’ successor.
Norwich aren’t the best attacking side either, so what would be considered as ‘weakening’ the defence, wouldn’t be too much of risk. Fernandez could comeback into the starting XI then with a point to prove and we’ll see the World Cup finalist back to his best. It’s good to see the likes of Amat, Stephen Kingsley and Leroy Fer staking their claim for a starting spot after the sublime Arsenal performance.
Would you like to see Amat start on Saturday?