As the Swans claimed their first win in four league games on the weekend, thanks to Joel Piroe’s winner against Huddersfield, it was another player who once again shone without making the headlines.
Few fans would have thought that a midfielder signing from Ipswich Town, for a fee reportedly of around £1.5 million during the transfer window, would have made such a positive impact for his new club, but that is exactly what Flynn Downes has done.
Such was the contribution made by the 22 year old on Saturday, he deservedly walked away with the Swans Man of the Match award, and prompted his manager to heap praise on the former England Under 20 International.
‘Unsung’ hero in midfield
“Flynn was incredible, it’s really difficult to single people out but he does the dirty work really well which sometimes goes unsung,” said Russel Martin in his post-match press conference.
“He enables people to do their roles brilliantly, he plays with no ego at all and knows exactly what his role in the team is and Kyle Naughton and the boys at the back appreciate him a lot – I know I would’ve if I’d had someone like Flynn playing in front of me.”
“It’s his willingness to learn, his attitude and attention to detail. He’s playing a very different role to the one he played at his previous club as most of the guys are, but his willingness to learn, desire to win, his athleticism and improving technical ability is brilliant to see.”
Essex boy Downes, wasn’t just on form against the Terriers though, he has been the consistent performer in the Swans midfield this season, with some impressive displays at the Swansea dot com stadium against Hull and Millwall also.
He has shown the qualities needed to be an effective midfielder, with a good range of passing, strong tackling and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. His current pass success rate is 92.7% – the highest of any Swansea City player in the current starting XI.
Although standing only 5ft 8′, he has shown he is not afraid to get stuck in, and is the sort of combative player the Swans need in midfield. His six Championship appearances so far have seen him collect two yellow cards.
It is very early days for Downes, who signed a four year deal with the Swans, but if his early season form is anything to go by then he could prove to be an excellent long term addition to the squad.