Russell Martin praised “exemplary professionals” Korey Smith and Ben Hamer after confirming the pair will leave Swansea City in the summer.
Both players have seen their impact on first-team proceedings dwindle of late and will be out of contract in June. Head coach Martin officially confirmed the duo will depart the Swansea.com Stadium when discussing the campaign at the club’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday night. You can read the full story here.
And Martin says the Swans’ requirement to trim the wage bill was a consideration in the decision to let Hamer and Smith leave. “We have been chatting with them both about their situations since January, and the understanding of the financial capacity we have for next season,” said the Swansea boss.
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“They are both leaving and we will be sad to see them go because of how they are culturally around the place, and what they have given us. Korey has played in a number of positions and done brilliantly in all of them, he has really added value to the team and really helped the young guys on the team.
“He has never let anyone down, he is a great team player and he goes with our best wishes. I have no doubt he will be a great team-mate and a real good player wherever he goes next.
“With Ben, he has probably been one of our most important players when you consider when he came into the team. We had had a difficult start to the season, he had been ill with Covid when we came in.
“But he brought a real experience and real calm, and the way he handled himself was incredible. He has been huge for us, and I told him just the other day how much we appreciated how he has conducted himself.
“He helped us grow as a team, to implement our ideas. He took it on so well, and he has been so supportive of Andy Fisher since he has come in. Ben has been disappointed to be out of the team, as any player should be, but he has always backed Andy and he also goes with our best wishes.”
Yan Dhanda and Steven Benda are also among those expected to leave this summer while defender Ryan Bennett is no longer in Martin’s plans. You can read the full story on Bennett here. And Martin admits it was a necessity for the Swans to lose some players in order to gain in other areas.
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“We are grateful for what they have both given us, and we hope moving forward they will look back on their time here and reflect that they have helped us put the foundations in place for what we want to do,” added the head coach.
“Sadly, it (players leaving) is part of football. For us to be able to move forward with what we want to do, we cannot take everyone with us. We have to lose some things so we can gain in other areas.
“But they have been exemplary professionals, they have been great team-mates, great people and we wish them the best.”
Midfielder Smith made 76 appearances in his two seasons for the Swans while goalkeeper Hamer featured 23 times for the club.
Swansea sign off the campaign against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Kick-off is at 12:30pm.