The Welshman has lost his place in the Swansea and Wales first team to previous understudy Ben Davies while spending most of the season out with a horrific ankle injury. Can he make his way back into the team?
Swansea City completed an excellent League Cup run by finishing off underdogs Bradford City at Wembley on Sunday with a resounding 5-0 victory.
One of the more assured players for Swansea this season has been teenage left-back Ben Davies. The 19-year-old has been in sensational form with his marauding runs from left-back making him one of the league’s best young players this season.
However the season would have been a lot different for the youngster was it not for the events of the 1st September 2012.
That day Davies started the game on the bench as he would have done for much of the season were it not for an injury in the first half to Swansea’s starting left-back Neil Taylor. After going into a challenge with Sunderland’s Craig Gardner he fell awkwardly with Gardner falling on top of him. The result was a horrific multiple ankle break that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Davies has taken his opportunity with a tenacious reluctance and will surely give Swansea a selection dilemma at the start of next season should Taylor’s rehab continue in the positive fashion it has done so far. Davies scored his first goal for the club against Stoke a month ago to outline how his game has developed this season.
The Great Britain Olympic footballer had a magnificent 2011-12 under Brendan Rodgers but usurping Davies will be a difficult task come next season.
However in December the Swans hierarchy, obviously impressed with the early progress in his comeback, rewarded Taylor with a new contract at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2016.
He started running on the affected ankle in January and could even make an appearance before the end of the season but he may have to settle for a place on the bench; and not just for Swansea City.
Davies has also performed well for Wales as Taylor’s replacement.
For Neil Taylor a return from injury may not prove enough to earn his first team place back immediately. Instead he may have to play the waiting game, or indeed second fiddle, to Ben Davies.
Do you think Neil Taylor will become first-choice left-back again upon his return from injury?
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