These are your Swansea City headlines on Monday, March 21.
Downes one of three on Leeds’ radar
Swansea’s Flynn Downes is one of three players on Leeds United’s radar this summer.
Over the weekend, national reports emerged linking 23-year-old Downes with a move to Elland Road, should the Premier League outfit lose Kalvin Phillips. Aston Villa are readying a £60million deal for the England man, state The Times, with West Ham United and Newcastle United also monitoring him.
READ MORE: Leeds United sniffing around Swansea City’s big asset is prime example of Russell Martin’s remit
If Phillips were to move on, Downes has been identified as a replacement following an impressive start to life as a Swansea player at the Swansea.com Stadium. Our colleagues at LeedsLive state that two other names are under consideration by the powers-that-be at Elland Road – namely Lewis O’Brien and John Swift.
O’Brien plays for Huddersfield Town, while John Swift plies his trade for Reading. All three targets are currently Championship players and have a high ceiling for development. But one suspects if Leeds had £60million burning a hole in their back pocket that a more established name would be brought on board.
Whittaker loan ‘underwhelming to say the least’
Morgan Whittaker’s loan stint with Lincoln City has been described as “underwhelming to say the least” by our colleagues at LincolnshireLive.
Striker Whittaker headed to the League One outfit in January in order to get game-time under his belt.
He was joined by fellow Swan Liam Cullen later in the month and both put in “excellent” performances against Sunderland at the weekend. But it appears Whittaker has yet to really grab the bull by the horns.
He has been shifted to left wingback on occasions by Michael Appleton and it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the former Derby County man when he returns to south Wales this summer.
He said last week of his stint with the Imps: “It’s been challenging but that’s the reason I came here, to test myself and do things I’ve not done before with the run of games – it’s been good and I’m learning. ’m dealing with a lot of different emotions that come with that, I haven’t had to deal with the pressures of a league position and collecting vital points, so that is be a help and I’m grateful for this opportunity.”
He added: “Everyone looks forward to these big teams and we have shown what we can do against them; if we can match their aggression and what they’re known for, then I think we will be fine. Teams in this division could easily compete in the Championship and they’re the games you want, to test yourself in and they make you better.”
Govea on trial
Former Swansea and Real Madrid defender Jordi Govea has popped up on the radar again.
Back in January we reported that the 23-year-old free agent was on trial with Championship rivals Birmingham City. The left-back featured in the Blues’ Under-23 side’s 3-2 triumph over local rivals West Brom at Wast Hills training ground. But it would seem nothing came of his stint with the Blues, as the youngster has now joined Ecuadorian outfit Independiente del Valle on another trial period.
ESPN report that if the defender impresses coach Renato Paiva, then he will join the squad for the rest of the season. All will hope that Govea can remain injury-free after his horrendous track record during his time in south Wales.
Just over a year ago, he made his comeback for Swansea Under-23s in a 2-0 win over Millwall after 687 days on the sidelines due to a myriad of injury problems.
“He’s a cracking lad and really has been through the mill with injuries; he’s been so unlucky,” boss Jon Grey said after that game. “He was in tears at the end after coming back and getting some minutes under his belt. We’ve got to be careful with him after being out for so long.
“Although he’s a defender, we introduced him on the left wing for a bit of protection and to ease him back in. But Jordi being Jordi, he wanted to run forward and follow the rebound in from Dan’s (Williams) shot. All the players chased him to the corner flag and went to jump on him, but he pushed them all off and ran straight to Beth and gave her a big hug.
“You’ve got to give Beth (Chaddock) and the other physios lots of credit; they’ve worked their socks off with him. To get him back on the pitch and doing what he loves doing, it was a really proud moment for everyone involved.”
Piroe wins goal of the month
Joel Piroe’s brilliant strike against Bristol City has won Swansea City’s goal of the month competition for February.
The Dutchman turned away from Alex Scott, nutmegged Zak Vyner and struck beautifully into the bottom corner with his left foot. The finish sparked wild celebrations on the Swansea bench – notably from Michael Obafemi. Piroe edged out Cyrus Christie’s effort against West Brom at The Hawthorns.
The 22-year-old has scored 17 goals so far this season, with 20 still the aim for the striker before the campaign ends. “I’m very happy with the 17 goals this season, I just want it to carry on and reach the 20-goal mark,” he said.
“It was great to score in front of the away fans. When you look at the weather and the travel and everything the fans did to get there, it was very nice to be able celebrate with them.”