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Swansea signing this 26-year-old lower league star would be a shrewd cut-price move

READING, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu of Luton Town is challenged by Andy Rinomhota of Reading during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Luton Town at Madejski Stadium on December 26, 2020 in Reading, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Why Swansea City should eye a cut-price swoop for Pelly Ruddock

According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Wales Online), Swansea City are among a host of clubs interested in securing the services of Luton Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock in the January window.

Championship promotion rivals Norwich City and Premier League strugglers West Brom are also understood to be vying for the 26-year-old this month. Ruddock’s contract at Kenilworth Road is due to expire at the end of the season and it has been claimed that the Hatters could cash in on him in January to avoid losing him for free next summer.

Profile

Pelly Ruddock rose through the youth ranks of non-league outfit Boreham Wood before being snapped up by West Ham in 2011. But, he managed only a solitary competitive appearance for the Hammers which came in an EFL Cup tie against Burnley. 

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu of Luton Town battles for possession with David Brooks of AFC Bournemouth during the Sky Bet Championship match between AFC Bournemouth and Luton Town at Vitality Stadium on January 16, 2021, in Bournemouth, England. (Getty Images)

The defensive midfielder joined Luton Town in the Conference Premier back in 2013 and has been a bonafide witness to the club’s journey through the divisions in recent years. After guiding Luton to promotion in his debut season, Ruddock went on to spend four campaigns in League Two. 

The 26-year-old was instrumental as the Hatters achieved back-to-back promotions from League Two to the third-tier and eventually to the Championship in 2019. Ruddock has been a regular fixture for Luton in the second tier over the past 18 months, scoring 5 times in 67 appearances

Ruddock has amassed 19 goals and 30 assists in 274 appearances for Luton Town in all competitions, featuring across all divisions of the Football League. 

More depth and quality?

The Swans were dealt a huge blow earlier in the month with loanees Kasey Palmer, Viktor Gyokeres and Morgan Gibbs-White all returning to their parent clubs. But Steve Cooper’s side have replenished their lost depth with some new signings. Ben Hamer joined on a free transfer while Conor Hourihane and Jordan Morris have also been roped in on loan deals until the end of the season.

HULL, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu of Luton Town battles for possession with Angus MacDonald of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Luton Town at KCOM Stadium on July 18, 2020, in Hull, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Indeed, those loan signings are expected to boost Swansea’s surge for automatic promotion heading into a hectic second half of the campaign. Having said that, however, they should also be alert to market opportunities to bolster their squad with some permanent signings. That would be more beneficial for the club with an eye on the long-term plans.

The imminent availability of Pelly Ruddock, to that end, presents an excellent opportunity for Swansea to add some real depth and quality to their midfield. Hourihane’s arrival is undoubtedly a massive boost but the Irishman is due to return to Aston Villa at the end of the season. 

Ruddock has been a consistent performer for Luton Town in the Championship over the past 18 months. Swansea already have quality players like Korey Smith, Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes competing for places in central midfield. The inclusion of a proven performer like Ruddock would, therefore, strengthen Cooper’s midfield even further.

WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu of Luton Town runs with the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Luton Town at Vicarage Road on September 26, 2020, in Watford, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The vastly-experienced 26-year-old Football League star would also represent a useful asset to Swansea with his versatility. While essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Ruddock can also operate as a box-to-box midfielder and at centre-back. Hence, his arrival would offer Cooper more depth in multiple areas across the midfield.

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Verdict

The door remains open for Swansea to have a real shot at snapping up Pelly Ruddock for a knockdown price this month. The midfielder already has a lot of experience with his best years still potentially ahead of him. Having said that, it should be a no-brainer for the Swans to try and beat off competition for the Luton star.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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