Why Swansea City should complete a deal for Rajiv van La Parra
According to claims from Dutch outlet Voetbal International (h/t Berkshire Live), Swansea City are one of the three Championship clubs interested in completing a deal for Rajiv van La Parra, who is currently a free agent following his departure from Red Star Belgrade earlier in the year.
As per the report, QPR and Reading have also been mentioned as potential suitors for the 29-year-old, who only departed Huddersfield Town last summer to embark on a journey in Serbia.
Born in Rotterdam, Rajiv van La Parra completed his footballing education at Feyenoord before starting his professional career with Caen in France. He established himself as a regular starter at Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie, registering 16 goals and 13 assists in 97 appearances.
The 29-year-old initially earned a move to England with Wolves in the Championship back in 2014 before going on to spend time on loan at Brighton and Huddersfield Town. Van La Parra eventually joined Huddersfield on a permanent deal and was an integral part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2016-17 season.
The former Dutch U-21 international was then a regular as the Terriers survived relegation in the following season. But he eventually fell out of favour and was loaned out to Middlesbrough in the Championship. The winger didn’t really play a big part for the Terriers following their relegation back to the second-tier and was sold to Red Star Belgrade in 2019.
Van La Parra’s Serbian sojourn yielded only 11 appearances in all competitions last season, with the Dutchman also featuring in the group stages of the Champions League.
Van La Parra would add more experience to Swansea’s attack
Swansea City raided relegated Wigan for Jamal Lowe earlier in the summer before completing a loan deal to sign highly-rated young centre-forward Viktor Gyokeres. Despite those new arrivals, however, the Swans are still quite light in their attacking options.
Besides star man Andre Ayew, Swansea only have Lowe and 35-year-old Wayne Routledge as their only specialist options in the wide areas. That hasn’t been a problem for them just yet, with Steve Cooper opting for a back-three system. Connor Roberts and Jake Bidwell have played as the wing-backs with Ayew and Lowe playing as centre-forwards further up the pitch.
However, Swansea’s lack of specialist depth down the flanks could well be exposed if Cooper is forced to change to a back-four system later on in the campaign. Add to that the risk of injuries over the course of a 46-game season in the Championship and it goes without saying that they need more versatile wide players in their system.
Rajiv van La Parra, to that end, certainly fits the bill as a player with loads of Championship experience under his belt. The 29-year-old is primarily a left-winger by trade but he’s versatile enough to operate on the other side as well, thus potentially offering depth and quality in multiple areas across the final third.
- Why Swansea City should complete a loan move for Curtis Jones in January
- Why Lyndon Dykes would be a smart signing for Swansea City
Rajiv van La Parra struggled to make much of an impression in the Champions League last season but it shouldn’t be a big problem for him to deliver the goods in the Championship, having made more than 100 appearances at this level. He knows what it takes to taste promotion glory in the second-tier, having achieved that feat with Huddersfield earlier in his career.
The Dutchman’s career has been on a downward spiral over the past two years but he still has a lot to offer at 29. All in all, van La Parra could be a real coup for the Welsh outfit on a free transfer.