Swansea beat the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City to the signing of Northern Irish youngster Rory Donnelly but he has only featured as a brief substitute in the Carling Cup after over a year in South Wales. Will Graham's move to Sunderland give him a chance?
With Danny Graham making his exit for the home comforts of the North East with Sunderland some have questioned whether Swansea have left themselves short of options in the striking department. Currently they have Michu, Itay Shechter, Luke Moore and Leroy Lita (on-loan at Sheffield Wednesday) as their main source of striking talent and Laudrup insists that is good enough to continue their good form until the end of the season.
But isn’t he forgetting someone? Aren’t we all?
When Swansea beat Everton to the signing of Northern Irish teenager Rory Donnelly it was supposed to be the start of a blossoming career in South Wales. Yet when speaking about the clubs strikers Laudrup neglected to mention the man his predecessor Brendan Rodgers has fought so hard to recruit:
"If Michu got injured, I'd be worried anyway because he's our top scorer and he's the most important offensive part we have. I'm not worried that Itay [Shechter] hasn't scored. I think he's worried much more. It's psychological. He wants to score, as does Luke, and we still have possibilities from other offensive players. We also have the midfield or wide players scoring.’’
Since signing for the club amongst interest from abroad plus big hitters like Manchester City and Liverpool the former Cliftonville striker has played just one game; coming on as a substitute for Michu against Crawley Town in the League Cup last September.
Since then it has been back to the reserves trying to earn himself the right to play in the first team. He turns 21 in a fortnight and the powerful forward stated his intention to push into the first-team clear in the summer of 2012:
“Playing with these guys every day is making me a better player. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m hoping to get out there and play some more next season.”
With Graham now out the picture that challenge may have become ever so slightly easier for the young Northern Irishman as he can now certainly lay claim to the position of fourth-choice striker at the club. There could even be a case for giving him the reins ahead of Luke Moore and to give the younger lad a chance in the first team.
All in all so far the youngster has certainly not made the impact many of us might have expected but the departure of Graham can only be a good thing in terms of his first-team opportunities.
Should Swansea give Donnelly a first-team chance; or consider sending him out on loan during the Football League window?
image: © ronnie macdonald