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Swansea City transfer latest & Conor Hourihane examined
Wednesday, 20th Jan 2021 17:43 by Keith Haynes & Steph Thomas

Swansea City continue to seek out new players as the transfer window has ten whole days to go. More players are linked, but thats the easy part. Remember Steve Cooper wants one hundred percent diligence done on players of interest - and this is why they all wont come off.

Joel Randall is the latest name in the rumour mill, we did highlight him at the start of the month as a player of interest and it went quiet, but he is still on the swans radar, and how much we will find out in the coming days. His value is around 300 to 400 thousand pounds and it is believed Charlton Athletic have put a 300k bid in for him. The signing of Jordan Morris ( we know shirt 13 is his ) means a 75% wage input from the swans and Hourihane, believed to be on thirty one thousand a week may well have the same deal, we cannot comment just yet. In any event these two players are costing the club around 450k between now and the end of the season. So, that needs reflecting on.

Whatever else is left in the pot wont be massive, already a large fee by current swans standards has been spent on Jamal Lowe. Kasey Palmer's salary was a bit more than Morris cancelling each other out, Morgan Gibbs-White less than Hourihane, and it is believed the recall of Gyorkeres has put the swans some ten thousand pounds a week in profit of the anticipated outlay at the start of the season. Around 160k until the season ends. So even with two fantastic signings in Morris and Hourihane we can be very impressed with Andy Scott's work and Swansea City's business in the past two weeks. All of which you have been able to read about daily here in our topical news sections.

Paul Arriola, looking to return to the form that got him numerous USMNT (USA) caps

Other speculation comes in the form of another MLS player Paul Arriola, I'm pretty certain that most people would not have heard of him before. The D.C. United winger is 25, previously played for Club Tijuana in Mexico before arriving in Major League Soccer with DCU in 2017. Aside from a few serious injuries, Arriola has been a regular for the USMNT in recent years as he’s scored six goals in 34 outings and provides balance, work rate and cohesion to the attacking midfield positions. His club record overall is 14 goals and 12 assists during his time in MLS over 68 appearances in three years. Arriola hasn't played in 2020 after suffering a torn ACL in preseason. It was a painful time out though he hasn't ruled out a return in Europe, depending on rehab and the timing of a stringent medical. The club and player were working on a contract extension since before his injury. The fact he is still in a form of recovery from a serious injury will put Steve Cooper off, and its unlikely this player has come from him or Scott. Its far more likely due to the clubs links with DC United that he is an 'idea' more than a player Cooper wants. However there is an aside to this, as he is already employed by DC United any loan will cost next to nothing as he is being paid by DC United, if indeed thats how the deal is formatted. Our feelings here are if Arriola turns out to be a flop the trust between the fans of Swansea and the majority owners wont be enhanced. Its more than likely they aren't that good as it stands. Arriola is a maybe, but its not a Cooper or Scott initiative thats for sure.

Conor Hourihane in depth
First off lets be sure about this from Birmingham LIVE

Dean Smith has admitted that Conor Hourihane will leave Aston Villa on-loan against his wishes, but he wants him back! The Villa boss has reluctantly agreed to let the popular Irishman head out on loan to Swansea City. Hourihane will relish the chance to get back to regular football after seeing his opportunities limited at Villa Park. It seems that the Swansea fans are pretty pleased at the prospect of seeing him in action

Shirt number 14
Hourihane completed his medical today and signed terms until the end of the season so unlike Morris it seems there is no option to buy if Smith is that clear about wanting him back. Hourihane was one of the main reasons Villa were promoted back to the Premier League two seasons ago, and he excelled in the championship 0n the way up. His range of passing, commitment and goals added that extra finesse to a Villa side that, like Swansea now, needed that little bit extra to go up. Swansea now have that in Hourihane.

Conor took a short while to settle in at Villa after a transfer from Barnsley, swans fans will remember him from his time at the Yorkshire club. At Villa in the championship Conor played 107 league games scoring 20 goals and managing 16 assists. He wasn't a stranger to a yellow card which signifies his impact and tough no nonsense style. This alone will surely compliment Matt Grimes and Korey Smith who both have been outstanding in recent weeks. Lets not forget Fulton as well, another dogged midfield grafter, things are shaping up in the core of the team. Jack Grealish describes Conor as the consummate pro with a wand of a left foot, not bad as Conor is left footed. Hourihane has worked for many extra hours on his game to become a two footed player capable of precise and accomplished passing on any surface.

Hourihane has a settled family life with his wife Olivia and a two year old child Ora who came along in 2019, the 29 year old has prioritised his family in recent times - and has also saw the pandemic have a dramatic effect on his family. Coming out of that is a rounded player and family man who is grounded in his future ambitions and most certainly committed to the Villa cause in recent seasons The last four games of last season saw Conor in the fight to stave off relegation. His contribution was immense scoring and assisting wins that kept his team in the top flight.

Whilst at Barnsley Hourihane and his teammates won two trophies at Wembley Stadium in London, during the 2015–2016 season: The first visit to Wembley was on 3 April 2016 for the Football League Trophy, in which Barnsley won 3–2 after beating Oxford United of League Two. The second visit to Wembley was on 29 May 2016, for the Football League One play-offs final. Barnsley won promotion to the Championship, after beating Millwall 3–1 in the Play-off final. Barnsley had a highly successful start to life in the Championship, winning five out of their first seven games, including 4–0 wins against Rotherham and Wolverhampton Wanderers and with Hourihane scoring three goals in these first seven games and assisting a further five. He went on to win the Championship Player of the Month for August 2016. Despite speculation linking Hourihane with Aston Villa on in January 2017, Hourihane captained Barnsley to a 3–2 victory against Leeds United with Hourihane scoring the match winning goal with a free-kick. It was at Barnsley where Conor really made his mark on the bigger clubs. His dead ball game and incisive slide rule passing assisting goals was noticeable. He has already excelled as a defensive midfielder and in the central attacking role as well. This makes his goal scoring record even more remarkable.

At Plymouth where he first came to notice he scored 15 goals in 125 games, at Barnsley that got better with 29 in 112 matches. His Premier League performances have been well above average in ratings but with 4 goals in 31 appearances he would be disappointed. However overall we see a player on 23 goals in 132 games for Villa.

Hourihane will bring a real bite to an already well drilled midfield at Swansea and if he remains fit we believe that his addition is the big key to success this season. A true professional who demands total commitment from his team with Jordan Morris either alongside or in front of him these two could be the real key to swans success. As he recently said “Young lads nowadays probably don’t work hard enough,” I don’t see any young lads grabbing a bag of balls and doing extra work, at all the clubs I’ve been at. “That’s the sad thing to see – lads don’t realise it. They’re working harder on the table tennis table than they do in training, and that’s the honest truth. The senior lads are out there for an extra hour working on their game. Young lads should see that and take inspiration from it but they don’t. It’s their choice at the end of the day. You’ll make a smart remark when you’re walking past them playing table tennis. You don’t give up on them. But there are only so many things you can say and then it’s up to themselves to kick into gear.”

Conor Hourihane, family man with a work ethic that will demand the same from his peers

Swans fans will welcome a committed and totally honest and hard working Conor Hourihane, fans who demand everything from their clubs players, and if by some quirk of fate we do see a return of fans to the game, Conor will feel that welcome too. In summary this is what we all want to read 'Maybe the likes of Wes and Daryl Murphy had the best years of their career later on, Jonathan Walters as well, so hopefully I can follow in those footsteps. Like I said, I just work hard every single day'

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