The 10 best players Swansea City have let go of on a free transfer (Ranked) | OneFootball

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Football League World

·26 August 2023

The 10 best players Swansea City have let go of on a free transfer (Ranked)

Article image:The 10 best players Swansea City have let go of on a free transfer (Ranked)
  • Swansea City has seen a number of talented players come and go, including Ángel Rangel, Ryan Manning, Luciano Narsingh, Mike Van der Hoorn, André Ayew, Borja Bastón, José Cañas, Michu, Leroy Fer, and Ki Sung-Yueng.
  • Rangel, a Spanish full-back, played a key role in Swansea's promotion to the Premier League and their League Cup triumph before joining QPR.
  • Manning, an Irish left-back, established himself as one of the best in the Championship with Swansea but decided to leave this summer and has joined Southampton.

Swansea City have been glittered with some amazing talents across recent years, especially from their time in the Premier League between 2012 and 2018.

That period also gave the club it's first major trophy in a 5-0 rout against League Two Bradford City in the League Cup final, before a foray into the UEFA Europa League the following season.


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As the club look to reach those heights again, Michael Duff has brought in seven and seen the same number depart in his first summer at the club.

However, FLW will now take a look back at ten of the best players let go by the Swans on a free transfer.

10 Ángel Rangel

A bona fide legend in this part of South Wales, the Spaniard gets the list off and running.

Rangel joined Swansea under his compatriot Roberto Martinez in the summer of 2007 with the club in League One, although they would win promotion as champions in his first season.

Rangel also featured 34 times in Swansea's automatic promotion winning season to the Premier League just three years later, before establishing himself as a top-flight level full-back for a number of years, as well as featuring in their League Cup triumph

He would leave the club in the summer of 2018 after their relegation, making 374 appearances in total before joining QPR.

9 Ryan Manning

By far and away the most recent transfer on the list saw Manning join Russell Martin in swapping South Wales for the South Coast this summer.

Manning gained a reputation as one of the best left-backs in the Championship, particularly last season as the Swans finished tenth. In 43 league matches last campaign, Manning scored 3 goals and accumulated a further ten assists, only one behind fellow left-back Ryan Giles who came top of the charts with eleven.

The Irishman decided to leave Swansea after three seasons at the club this summer, and has so far featured in all of Southampton's Championship matches.

8 Luciano Narsingh

The Dutchman became Paul Clement's first signing of the 2017 winter window for a fee of £4m, featuring 13 times as the Swans would narrowly escape relegation in a season that featured three managers. He featured eighteen times as the club were relegated before only making two Championship appearances in 2018/19.

At the end of that season, Narsingh would join Dutch giants Feyenoord on a free transfer upon the expiration of his contract.

7 Mike Van der Hoorn

The fellow Dutchman joined in the summer of 2016 for a fee of £2m from Ajax, but didn't make his first Premier League appearance until September that year in a defeat to Manchester City.

After only making eight league appearances in his first season, Van der Hoorn became a regular under Carlos Carvalhal, but couldn't halt Swansea's slide into the Championship. He would feature in every Championship game as the Swans narrowly missed out on the play-offs in their first second tier season since 2011, but would do so the following season, before being defeated by Brentford in the semi-finals.

Van der Hoorn departed at the end of the season, joining then Bundesliga outfit Arminia Bielefeld on a free.

6 André Ayew

Having joined the club on a free transfer in his first spell, Ayew makes it onto this list for the departure in his second tenure at the club.

His first spell would only last a season, as the Ghanaian scored 12 times in 34 Premier League games as the club finished 12th, before departing for West Ham for £20.5m

He would rejoin the Swans in the midst of their relegation battle in 2018 for £18m in a three-year deal. After a loan spell at Fenerbache following relegation, Ayew would feature heavily in Swansea's two failed promotion attempts in 19/20 and 20/21, scoring 31 times in 87 EFL appearances, before departing to Qatari side Al Sadd on a free transfer.

5 Borja Bastón

Perhaps the biggest disappointment on this list based off a goal return and appearances, as Borja Bastón made more appearances in two loan spells away from the club than he did for Swansea across a period of just under four years.

Bastón signed for a club-record £15.5m in the summer of 2016, but scored just once as Swansea narrowly avoided relegation. The following two seasons saw him feature for Malaga and Alaves on loan, where he would score just a further six times.

However, under the management of Steve Cooper, Bastón featured 19 times and scored six in the opening stages of the 2019/20 season, in which he scored his first Swans goal in three years on the opening day against Hull.

Eventually he would depart for Aston Villa in January 2020, but he would only feature twice for Dean Smith's side.

4 José Cañas

Cañas joined Swansea on a three-year deal in 2013, and featured 35 times across his only season at the club. He featured heavily in the club's Europa League campaign having been signed by Michael Laudrup, but towards the end of the season was informed by new boss Garry Monk that he was not part of his plans.

Despite signing a three-year contract, Cañas' contract was mutually terminated at the end of his first season, and he went back to Spain, joining Espanyol.

3 Michu

Michu's two seasons at the Swansea.Com Stadium couldn't have possibly been more contrasting.

After joining from La Liga side Rayo Vallecano in 2012, the Spaniard hit the ground running with 2 goals on debut in a 5-0 rout away to QPR. He would also be a major contributor in the club's League Cup win, scoring the 2nd in the 2-0 semi-final aggregate win over Chelsea, before adding the 2nd in the 5-0 win over Bradford.

He would end the season on 22 goals in all competitions, his best scoring season ever, as well as the fifth-highest scorer in the Premier League that season, and being named Players' Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year in South Wales.

Injuries and falling out of favour would dampen the remainder of his time, only scoring twice the following season before being loaned to Napoli in 2014/15. He would then return to Spain, featuring for lower league sides Langreo and his first club, Real Oviedo.

2 Leroy Fer

After joining on an initial loan deal from QPR in 2016, Fer would make his move permanent on a three-year deal in the summer.

Despite Swansea's downward trajectory, the Dutchman featured regularly under a number of managers, and stuck around in his only Championship campaign after the club's relegation despite numerous injuries and links to Fenerbache and Aston Villa.

After the 2018/19 season, Fer returned to Feyenoord having made 101 appearances for Swansea, scoring ten times.

1 Ki Sung-Yueng

The South-Korean spent the entirety of his spell with Swansea in the Premier League, which included a loan move to Sunderland in 2013/14.

Having joined from Celtic in 2012, Ki recieved praise for his consistent performances which also aided their eventual League Cup success despite featuring in an unfamiliar, deeper role in the final.

He returned from the loan spell in the North East for the 2014/15 season, and scored the first goal of that campaign as the Swans pulled off a 2-1 away win at Old Trafford.

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