Why Swansea City should sign free agent Daniel Ayala
According to Twitter claims from The Sun journalist Alax Nixon (h/t Teesside Live), Swansea City are in talks to sign Daniel Ayala, who is currently a free agent following the expiry of his contract with Middlesbrough.
Swans boss Steve Cooper knows Ayala from his coaching days in Liverpool’s youth ranks, but as per the report, the player’s wages could be a big hurdle for the Welsh club. The 29-year-old has also been linked with Leganes, who are set to compete in Spain’s second tier next season after suffering relegation from the La Liga. (h/t Teesside Live)
Swansea’s current defensive scenario
Swansea City made it through to the semi-final of the playoffs after finishing 6th in the Championship last season, scoring 62 goals and conceding 53 times in 46 games. Those numbers suggest that the Swans did pretty well defensively. But Cooper now finds himself under pressure to reshape his backline following the departure of several key players at the back.
Mike van der Hoorn was released following the end of his contract at the Liberty Stadium while the loan duo of Marc Guehi and Ben Wilmot are now back at their parent clubs, Chelsea and Watford respectively.
That has left the manager with the young Welsh pair of Ben Cabango and Joe Rodon as his only specialist central defensive options. So bringing in reinforcements at the back should be a priority for Swansea this summer.
Why Daniel Ayala fits the bill
The departure of van der Hoorn has robbed Swansea’s backline of some real quality and experience, thus making the availability of veteran free agent Daniel Ayala an appealing proposition for the Swans.
The 29-year-old boasts a mammoth 216 career appearances for the likes of Middlesbrough, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Hull City in England’s second tier. Taking those numbers into account, Ayala is very much a proven performer at this level and Swansea roping him in on a free transfer could be an absolute steal.
The Spaniard made 25 appearances in the Championship for Boro last season before suffering a long-term injury against Preston on New Year’s Day. Ayala didn’t feature following the restart but is expected to be fit from the start of the upcoming campaign.
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Swansea need to rebuild their backline this summer and the acquisition of an experienced campaigner like Daniel Ayala on a free transfer could set them on course for some fruitful business in the transfer window.
The Spaniard still has a lot to offer at 29 following the end of his 7-year association with Middlesbrough. Besides his obvious quality as a defender, Ayala’s experience is also likely to have a positive impact on the development of younger players like Rodon and Cabango at the back.