Conor Hourihane could prove to be the most crucial signing of the season in the league
It is hoped that when players from Premier League clubs join League clubs on loan, they will have an instant impact. Conor Hourihane, who signed for Swansea City on loan from Aston Villa in January, did just that.
Swansea manager Steve Cooper has had success in the past loaning players to Premier League clubs. Liverpool Lender Rhian brewster was one of those successes for the Swans and Hourihane now appears to be another. The 30-year-old midfielder has integrated perfectly into the team. He could become the most important signing of the championship season.
Conor Hourihane could prove to be the Championship’s most crucial signing
A declaration of intent
After Kasey Palmer and Morgan Gibbs-White returned to their parent clubs earlier this season, Swansea entered the market for a midfielder. When it emerged that Conor Hourihane had become a target, it also emerged that Bornemouth had an interest in the Aston Villa man.
When it was announced that the Republic of Ireland international had signed for the Welsh club, it was seen as a statement signing. Not only had Swansea beaten his promotion rivals upon signing Hourihane, but they had also acquired a player with immense league experience.
Hourihane signed for Aston Villa in January 2017 and has continued to do more than 100 participations in the championship for the club. In their two full seasons for Villa in the second division, the club have reached the play-off final every year. Hourihane started both games and eventually helped Villa win a promotion in 2019.
This is why Hourihane’s signing is so important to Steve Cooper and Swansea. Having the ‘right type of player’ in the league or at least having a player with league experience does a lot of good. Hourihane was obviously a key contributor to Steve Bruce and Dean Smith as they sought promotion. It could turn out to be just that for Swansea City.
Having someone in the dressing room who knows what it takes to earn a promotion is vital for any team with Premier League aspirations. Especially a young team like Swansea, who lost in the play-off semi-finals last season.
Hourihane’s new role
Cooper plays Hourihane in a more advanced role for Swansea. It seems to be doing wonders for the player and the club. He can’t stop scoring, and Swansea can’t stop winning.
Hourihane has scored three goals in as many games for his new team. He has already become the club’s best midfielder this season. His first was the equalizer against Brentford, who saved a point after Kyle Naughton was sent off. His most recent was a 25-yard drive down the corner that secured a 2-0 victory over Norwich City. As such, Hourihane has yet to lose a game as a Swansea player.
Hourihane has scored 11 and seven goals respectively in his last two league seasons. He has shown his abilities as a striker before, but it was never his only role in setting up Aston Villa. Pushing Hourihane further forward gave him more opportunities to score, or to display his passer abilities. As such, he has become an integral part of the team in an incredibly short period of time.
It became clear that Hourihane’s wish for more playing time was behind his decision to join Swansea. Also, after saying that his “The career is too short to sit still”, it looks like Cooper and Swansea have a player to prove. This can only be positive, especially with the club currently third in the league table and just two points behind leaders Norwich.
Conor Hourihane has experience, desire and a new form. He has everything to become the signing of the season in the Championship, especially if the season ends with Swansea City moving up to the Premier League.