Swansea City dipped into the summer transfer market for the second time earlier this week with the capture of centre-half Jordi Amat from Espanyol. The 21-year-old signs up at the Liberty on a four-year deal for a fee in the region of £2.5m and joins compatriot Jose Canas at the club, as Michael Laudrup continues to raid the Spanish top-flight following the success of Michu, Chico and Jonathan de Guzman last time around.
In an interview with the club’s official website, Amat – who is believed to have turned down a number of offers in order to sign up at the Liberty – cited the club’s possession-based playing style as key to his decision:
“I watched Swansea last season – what the club achieved was incredible. To finish in the top half of the Premier League and win a trophy too is a massive achievement. In Spain, Swansea are very famous now. They talk a lot about the club and how they have become a successful team in the Premier League with an attractive style of play. So to be a part of the team is a big moment for me. The club has a great set-up – the stadium is lovely and I know it’s full every game, and I can’t wait to run out in front of the supporters for the first time.”
A product of the Espanyol youth system, Amat’s career began with the club’s B team in the Spanish third division back in 2009-10. After making 17 appearances he was fast-tracked to the first-team towards the end of the season and featured six times. The following campaign saw the centre-half nail down a regular role, turning out on 26 occasions, but he fell out of favour in 2011/12 and featured in just nine league games.
Farmed out on loan to Michu’s old club Rayo Vallecano last year, Amat scored once in 27 La Liga matches – footage of his 50-yard wonder strike is doing the rounds – and helping his side to an eighth place finish. The centre-half has turned out for his country at every level from Under 16 to Under 21 and was part of the Spain side that finished third at the Under 17 World Cup in 2009 along with the likes of United’s David De Gea.
The Swans Capital One Cup success and subsequent Europa League duties means Laudrup requires a greater depth to his squad next time round. With a more demanding schedule to contend with, it remains to be seen whether Amat has been purchased as a back-up to Chico and Ashley Williams in the heart of the back-four, with the possibility of game time only arriving through rest and rotation – although the latter missed just one league game all season, Chico was sidelined for 12 league matches through injury, with Laudrup forced to hand Garry Monk 10 starts as a result.
There’s no doubt that Williams’ future will play a major part in Amat’s prospects for the season ahead. With Liverpool and Arsenal continuing to be linked with a move for his services, the former’s possible departure would be a huge boost for the new boy’s prospects, though it would be a big call from Laudrup to let Williams go without further adding to his backline, given Amat’s relative youth and Chico’s propensity for picking up injury.
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Robert Fisk Interview2001-11-30 14:09:18 by fromProgressive
Two common items circulating among progressives on the Internet after September 11 have been Robert Fisk's dispatches for the London Independent and W.H. Auden's poem 'September 1, 1939.' The last stanza of that poem begins: 'All I have is a voice/To undo the folded lie.' That's what Fisk does: He uses his voice to expose falsehoods and highlight injustice and, as Auden put it, to 'exchange mess... the perspective of how many dead over how many years, the surprise to me is that we didn't see planes flying into buildings long ago. How come it took so long? This is not an excuse for these wicked crimes against humanity, but I'm very surprised this didn't happen earlier. And if we go into Iraq as well, then stand by for more bin Ladens.
Matthew Rothschild is Editor of The Progressive.
OT - woman sat dead in front of TV for 42 years2008-06-17 10:16:21 by Lapis_Philosophus
Holy cow! how is that even possible? i guess things in croatia are a bit different.
Woman sat dead in front of TV for 42 years
May 16 2008 By Donna Watson
THE remains of a woman have been found sitting in front of her TV - 42 years after she was reported missing.
Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, had apparently made herself a cup of tea before sitting in her favourite...n for decades. Nothing had been disturbed for decades, even though there were more than a few cobwebs in there."
Neighbours were shocked by the discovery.
Jadranka Markic was nine when Hedviga "vanished".
She said: "I still remember her. She was a quiet woman who kept herself to herself but was polite. We all thought that she had just moved out and gone to live with relatives."
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