I haven’t been as active as I’d like to recently, and in fact, I haven’t written on this site since the transfer window closed.
But with half-hour free and thinking about something (positive) to write about on a quiet Wednesday evening, I can’t look past the early-season form of Swansea City centre-back Federico Fernandez.
I was one of the Argentine’s biggest critics last season, I’ll admit it. However, he’s been very solid in the first month and a half of the 2017/18 campaign, and has gone from strength to strength since Paul Clement’s arrival back in January.
Before Clement was appointed as Swans boss, Fernandez was a bit of liability, got distracted easily, switched off at vital moments and was suffering from a lack of confidence, especially during Bob Bradley’s reign.
Now though, we’re seeing the defender that Alejandro Sabella thought was worthy enough to start for Argentina at the 2014 World Cup – a strong, commanding, leading, committed centre-back.
As mentioned in my ‘Fan Verdict’ in the Daily Mail after the 0-0 draw away against Tottenham, Fernandez’s performance was nothing short of brilliant – it was everything you want from your centre-half. I think it was his best game in a Swansea shirt.
Obviously, Saturday’s reverse at home to Watford was bitterly disappointing and looking back, to concede two goals in the manner that we conceded them is hugely frustrating.
Although, if we can see more of the Fernandez that shut-out a free-scoring Harry Kane at Wembley, it’ll be a huge bonus for the Swans as they look to improve, especially at the Liberty Stadium.
The 28-year-old also took to Instagram after reaching a century of Swansea appearances, since signing from Napoli for around £8 million in the summer of 2014.
He went on to form a handy partnership with Ashley Williams in South Wales his first two seasons, before the duo split-up last summer with Williams transferring to Everton, leaving Jordi Amat, Mike van der Hoorn and Alfie Mawson fighting to sit next to him in defence.
Mawson eventually fought his way into the starting 11 and impressed since making his breakthrough in the Premier League last term. Most of the plaudits were then given to Mawson thereafter – and rightly so – however the plaudits should now be at least shared out following Fernandez’s impressive start to the 2017/18 season.