Yesterday’s totally under the radar signing of QPR left back Jake Bidwell was a welcome surprise and provided a number of positives for Swans fans as pre season under a new manager begins in earnest.
The stealth mode signing surely wrong footed most fans who have been eagerly awaiting sight of the new kit whilst impatiently scanning for news of further departures to reduce the wage bill. As it was, the news of Bidwell’s signing slithered in from behind, tapped us on the shoulder and gave us shock of positive pleasure. Well most of us anyway!
The most obvious positive is the player himself; Bidwell may not be a “big name” but he is exactly what we need right now, ticking so many boxes that he’s an Amazon warehouse worker’s wet dream.
He’s Pedigree, Chum!
With more than 200 appearances under his belt, many of which were in the Championship, the former Everton youth player brings with him a wealth of experience but at the age of 26 he’s no veteran looking for an easy last pay day. His almost ever present status for first Brentford and then Queens Park Rangers prove he has pedigree at this level and his presence in the squad will soften the blow of losing the released Martin Olsson.
Another positive is that Jake’s joined on a free…”but he’s not good enough for QPR so he’s not good enough for us” some Swans fans have lamented, ignoring entirely that we’ve picked up a decent player on a free transfer because QPR were forced to let him go for financial reasons. Given the losses we’ve made recently having to let costly players go just to get them off the wage bill we should understand better than any set of fans how it isn’t just about ability when a player becomes available for nothing! Fans should also remember that we haven’t got a transfer pot to piss in so we can’t go targeting other team’s quality players and forcing them to sell to us with the power of our chequebook!
Another benefit of Bidwell is his size; a strapping six footer, Bidwell will bring further height to our backline and apparently he can defend corners!! He’s recognised as having a good engine and brings an attacking edge to his flank but crucially is a competent defender too – that combination will likely give him the edge over the other left backs available to us in the shapes of Declan John and Kyle Naughton.
Yesterday’s swoop also proved another positive…we aren’t reliant on releasing the misfit high earners before bringing in some reinforcements for Steve Cooper. I think most Swans fans, me included, were resigned to a summer of desperate pleading for clubs to take Borja and the Ayews (sounds like boy band!!) off our hands and then a frantic deadline day as we sought to bring in a batch of loan recruits.
Maybe the termination on the released players’ contracts (the likes of Bony, Fer and Narsingh) coupled with the money from the Dan James sale has given that little bit of financial headroom to get some sensible and prudent business done. If that’s the case then it will mark a real improvement on recent seasons as we will have a chance to bring players in early and bed them in over pre-season.
But for me the biggest positive is once again Trevor Birch. No frills, no spills, just quietly going about his business and announcing a player once it’s done…it’s refreshing after years of tactically releasing a horde of names to the Press, many of which we had no hope of signing, in a tacky and transparent attempt to pacify restless fans. In fact this signing was “vintage Huw”, harping back to a time when under the radar surprise signings were Swansea City all over. Well done, Mr Chairman!
Welcome to Swansea City Jake Bidwell, may you be the first of many positives this summer.