Swansea’s Spanish stars: Hit or miss?

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Following the departure of Roque Mesa to Sevilla on-loan, we rate the 17 Spanish senor’s who swapped sunny Spain for the Liberty Stadium over the past years.

Mesa was brought to the club just six months ago in an £11 million deal from Las Palmas but has struggled for regular game time in South Wales.

Here, Sam May take a look at the players who made the grade and those who fell short…

Angel Rangel (2007-Present) – Hit

With over 200 appearances, Rangel joined the club under Martinez. Scout Kevin Reeves had gone to look for a striker at the time but picked up a £15,000 bargain in Rangel instead. He has played in two league promotions and had Carabao Cup success. He is a fan and club favourite. Once he hangs up his boots, it is likely he will be offered a coaching role at the club.

Angel Rangel Guillem Bauza (2007-10) – Hit

Who? The former Spanish youth international was once a strike partner of Fernando Torres. He scored a brace against Gillingham, that helped to seal promotion to League One. Making over 60 appearances in South Wales scoring 16 goals, he finished his playing career in 2015, and went on to become a qualified doctor.

Jordi Gomez (2008-09) – Hit

Gomez joined Swansea on-loan from Espanyol and was an instant hit for the Swans during his time in South Wales, when the club was playing in the Championship. Scoring the winner in the first South Wales derby in a decade, he instantly became a fan favourite. At the time, Roberto Martinez was key to make the deal a permanent one, but a switch couldn’t be struck. The next summer Martinez moved to Wigan and Gomez became one of his first signings for the Latics.

Roberto Martinez (2002-06 player, 2007-09 manager) – Hit

Martinez became one of the most significant figures at Swansea, during his seven years with the club. The Spaniard was brought in from Walsall in 2002 and became captain under manager Brian Flynn, signing for the club permanently a year later. That year, he helped the Swans as they looked to avoid relegation from the Football League. He was released by Kenny Jackett in 2006, but then replaced him as manager the same year, helping Swansea to reach promotion to League One. He was the man who implemented the certain possession-based game associated with the club and is currently manager of the Belgium National team.

Jordi Lopez (2009-10) – Miss

Following the arrival of Paulo Sousa from QPR, the former Real Madrid midfielder followed his former manager to the Liberty Stadium. Making just a total of 15 appearances in two years, his contract was terminated, and he departed for Vitesse Arnhem shortly after. In 2017, he hung up his boots having ended his career with Segunda Division B side Sabadell.

Gorka Pintado (2008-11) – Miss

The striker was hampered with injuries during his three years spell under Martinez. A £200,000 signing from Granada, he scored goals against Hull City, Nottingham Forest and rivals Cardiff City, but didn’t really hit the ground running during his 73 appearances. He eventually left to join AEK Larnaca.

Albert Serran (2008-11) – Miss

A £80,000 signing from Espanyol, Serran joined the Swans along with Spanish compatriot Jordi Gomez. Making 30 appearances he never became a first name on the team sheet. He was released at the end of 2010-11 as Swansea were promoted to the Premier League. He is currently playing for Chabab Rif Al Hoceima in Morocco.

 Andres Orlandi (2007-10) – Miss

Having been part of the Barcelona youth setup at the time when it included Samuel Eto, Giovanni Dos Santos and Bojan Krkic. Orlandi joined the Swans from Alaves. His time at the club coincided with numerous injuries, but he did score the fastest top-flight goal for five seasons netting just 25 seconds against Wolves in his final season at the club. Having just made 20 appearances, he joined Brighton and began to help them with their promotion push.

 Pablo Hernandez (2012-14) – Miss

Brought to the club by Michael Laudrup, in a £5.55 million move from Valencia, it took longer than expected for the winger to get to grips with the physicality of the Premier League. He later improved under Garry Monk, showing some flashes of brilliance, but left to join Al-Arabi, before reuniting with Monk at Leeds in 2016.

Michu (2012-2015) – Hit

Making over 50 appearances for the Swans, Michu hit the ground running. He was used as a striker and attacking midfielder during his time in South Wales. A bargain buy in a £2 million deal from Rayo Vallecano, he became one of the big names in Europe at the time. Leaving the Liberty at the end of the 2015-16 season, he went on-loan to Napoli. He has recently been released by Oviedo and is currently a free agent.

Chico Flores (2012-14) – Hit

A £2 million move from Genoa saw ‘Chico’ become Laudrup’s first Spanish signing at the Liberty Stadium. He impressed in games such as the 1-1 draw against Manchester United in 2012, coming close to a Spain call-up. He also became a favourite amongst the fans at the club during this spell.

Jose Canas (2013-14) – Miss

Canas became a Spanish import under Laudrup following a fine spell with Real Betis. However, despite making 35 appearances at the club, he was moved on. He moved back to his homeland to join Espanyol and is now playing in the Greek Superliga with PAOK.

 

 

 

 

Alejandro Pozuelo (2013-14) – Miss

He is most likely to be up there as one of the worst signings for the club. Pozuelo suffered a torrid time in South Wales and found life in the Premier League tough to tackle. He scored just two goals in 36 appearances, in one season. Moving back to his homeland, he joined Rayo Vallecano and is now featuring for Genk in Belgium.

Alvaro Vazquez (2013-14) – Miss

Joining on-loan from Getafe, he became Laudrup’s eighth signing, but failed to live up to expectations. He was identified as back-up to Wilfried Bony and Michu but struggled to adapt to the rigours of Premier League football. Swansea decided against making his move permanent.

Jordi Amat – N/A

Currently on-loan with Real Betis, Amat made the move to Swansea in a £2.5 million deal from Espanyol in 2013. He made over 50 appearances since joining the club but found game time limited following the arrivals of Alfie Mawson and Mike Van der Horn. It is unlikely he will be part of Carlos Carvalhal’s plans next season.

 

 

Fernando Llorente (2016-17) – Hit

Llorente flourished for the Swans having just spent one season at the club. He was pivotal in helping his side avoid relegation last season and scored 15 goals in one season, before making the move to Spurs as back up to Harry Kane.

Borja Baston (2016-17) – Miss

Becoming Swansea’s record signing in a £15 million deal from Atletico Madrid. He suffered a miserable first season at the club, scoring just once in 16 appearances in 3-2 defeat to Arsenal. He was allowed to join Malaga on-loan for the 2017-18 season. Whether he could feature under Carvalhal next season is currently unclear, but if so, he has a lot to prove to Swans fans going forward.

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