It’s hard to deny over the years that the Welsh national team has had some great players represent them.
The likes of current manager Ryan Giggs, former manager Gary Speed, most capped player Neville Southall, and former highest-goalscorer Ian Rush spring to mind, but what If we turn our heads to their current crop of players?
Ryan Giggs’ current squad is a balance between experienced international players and fresh young faces.
One of these fresh faces is Swansea City right-back Connor Roberts. The 23-year-old has been with the Swans his entire professional career, with a few stints on loan.
The first of these loan moves came at the start of the 2015-16 season with Yeovil Town. Initially only for a month, however, Roberts soon established himself as a key player in the Glovers squad, and as a result his loan was extended until the end of that season. He made a total of 54 appearances in all competitions for the club, as well as collecting three Player of the year awards.
His second loan spell came in the 2016-17 season with Bristol Rovers. Roberts joined the Pirates on a six-month loan deal. Unlike his first loan spell where he played a great deal of first-team football, his time at Bristol Rovers was completely different. The right-back only made five appearances in all competitions for the club before returning to Swansea.
Roberts’ last loan spell was with Middlesbrough. He joined Boro on July 14th 2017 on a season-long loan. However, his spell with the club was terminated after he only made four appearances in all competitions.
The end of the 2017-18 season may have been a negative one for Swansea City, but for the 23-year-old it wasn’t.
Coming into this season Swansea had released back-up right-back Angel Rangel. This was a blessing in disguise for Roberts who at that point only made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Jacks. Rangel’a release meant that Roberts would now be back-up to Kyle Naughton, rather than third choice right-back.
To date the right-back has made 17 appearances in all competitions for Swansea. The most recent of which was against Stoke City on the 18th September.
2018 has been a kind year to the defender. Wales manager Ryan Giggs has seen potential in his ability and as a result capped him four times for the Welsh national team. Roberts scored his first senior international goal on September 6th 2018 against Republic of Ireland.
With this all being said, there’s no denying that Connor Roberts may have a big career ahead of him. At only 23, he has already made his presence known on the international stage, and also as Championship player.
Could we see him replicate the likes of Aaron Ramsey and earn a move to one of the ‘big six’ clubs in the future?
Picture Credit: Swansea City