Swansea City boss Garry Monk has declared at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday afternoon’s clash at Scott Sinclair’s Aston Villa that he doesn’t blame his former teammate for leaving the Welsh club in 2012 for Manchester City, despite the winger’s subsequent struggles.
Sinclair, 25, netted 36 times in 91 total appearances for Swansea after arriving from Chelsea in the summer of 2010, with his goals helping the club secure promotion to the Premier League in 2011 and seeing him tipped for a senior England call-up.
His impressive performances earned him a £6.2 million move to Etihad Stadium in August 2012 but the former Under-21 international would go on to make just three starts in two-and-a-half seasons with the Citizens, as injuries and poor form became a regular occurrence.
The Stamford Bridge product also struggled to make his mark during last season’s loan spell at West Bromwich Albion, featuring just 11 times, and made a meagre four cameos for a total of 29 minutes for Manuel Pellegrini’s side over the first half of this term.
However, after joining Villa for the rest of the season on loan in the winter transfer window, the out-of-favour attacker has started to show flashes of his past form, grabbing three goals in his last five outings and nailing down a spot in the starting line-up.
Sinclair’s captain with the Swans, Monk is pleased to see him doing well again after a couple of testing campaigns and stresses that people shouldn’t criticise him for wanting to test himself at a major club, even if the move hasn’t worked out.
“Let’s not forget, Scott had already been at a big club,” he said. “He was at Chelsea. He understands how that works and what it is.
“He had the chance to go to Manchester City and I genuinely believe that, at that time, he felt it was the right opportunity – the chance to go back to a bigger club and test himself at a higher level.
“He would have gone up there with the intensions that he was going to play and I don’t believe that any player leaves for any different reasons.
“It’s the same with Wilfried [Bony] right now. I think he’s gone up there with the belief that he’s going to play games and hold down a first-team place, and I’m sure we’ll see that in the games to come.
“For whatever reasons with Scott, it didn’t quite work out but that happens sometimes in football.”