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Welsh International defender of interest to Swansea City
Monday, 11th Jul 2022 09:00 by @Cornish67David

Swansea City have been linked with Brentford defender Finley Stevens. The nineteen year old is believed to be available on loan for this season. Traditionally he plays on the right hand side of the pitch.

Born in Brighton Fin has played nine times for the Wales under 21 side and has played premier league football. He qualifies for Wales via his grandfather. In 2021 he was the Brentford B’ team player of the year. Brentford are happy to let him go out on loan and see a year in the championship as something he really needs. Highly regarded by Brentford head coach Thomas Frank he is described as fast with a desire to get forwards and help the attacking side of the game. Something Russell Martin is missing with Cyrus Christie not returning it seems - and with Ethan Laird featuring in the next episode of ‘The Disappeared’ at Bournemouth last season. There is space on the right flank.

Clubs will be wary of course, Fin Burns looked like a fish out of water last season when he had an opportunity on loan from Man City, as did Rhys Williams on loan from Liverpool. Russell Martin wasn’t afraid to drop them from the team when it became clear they were not up to the task of playing as he wanted. Williams was recalled and Burns just disappeared amid rumours he could return this season. That it seems is not in the pipeline.

Early in his career Stevens had to deal with the blow of being released by Arsenal. He started his career in their Hale End academy, but was let go at age sixteen because the coaches there held concerns over his size and physicality. (The Athletic)

Still only sixteen the youngster signed for Worthing. Their manager Alan Hinshelwood said at the time.“I could tell Fin was different. “His hunger and determination stood out. Some of the other young lads were grateful to train with the first team. He wanted to be playing and making an impact. You could tell he had been at a big club like Arsenal by his calmness on the ball and how often he would play one-touch. The ball would come into him and he would already know his next pass. That was really evident compared to other players his age.”

It wasn’t long before Fin was spotted by Brentford and a quick transfer was negotiated. It had to be a whole host of premier league clubs were after him. They handed him his first-team debut in a 3-0 victory over neighbours Fulham in the Carabao Cup when he replaced Said Benrahma for the final eleven minutes. Stevens then earned his first start in a 2-1 win at home to Middlesborough in the third round of the FA Cup. Brentford B offer their players the possibility of playing against first team sides and have a unique developmental structure. Fin fitted in perfectly.

B team coach Neil Macfarlane is pleased with Fin’s progress.”He’s had a really good period with the B Team, and he’s shown a lot of personality. He has a really good desire to keep improving as well as a will to win. He’s a terrific kid to work with every single day. He’s had really good training minutes with the First Team in recent months and overall this season has had good game time for the B Team and the First Team. I think he should be very proud of his season. We have him now for the next few years and we have a terrific talent. He has earned the respect of both groups and I am really hopeful that in the coming years he will kick on even more, because there is so much more development in him and so much more to come.”

Finley Stevens is contracted to Brentford until 2027. But it looks like he has plenty of experience under his belt and could well become a valued loan player at the swans. We hear Russell Martin is keen but with Fin’s new contract came new money. He is on around twelve thousand pounds a week, remember Brentford are a premier league side and value Stevens highly. That could well prove the sticking point unless some form of agreement is reached. The last thing Brentford want is a player sitting on the subs bench as some loans did last season, and the last thing Swansea want is to be paying out excessive wages for that to happen.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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