Welcome to another Swansea City player profile. Yesterday we had a look at goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, today we turn the spotlight on one of the unsung heroes in our ranks, Nathan Dyer.
Regular readers of Letou Choose will be familiar with this story but I’ll go back over it just once more. When I arrived from Bucharest to take over Swansea, Nathan Dyer was on 0 starts. Zero. Nadda. Not a one.
It wasn’t because he secretly had an infatuation with Stuart Reid’s daughter or wasn’t a very good footballer, he simply didn’t fit into the system Reid used. In an effort to make Swansea hard to beat, Reid employed a narrow formation that was designed to be hard to beat but should have built on it for games against the likes of AFC Bournemouth at home. No need to play three at the back there. As a result, Dyer was left on the fringes of the squad.
Under my management, he has flourished as a genuine right-winger. I play a simple counter-attacking 4-4-2 with André Ayew on the left and Dyer on the right, supplying crosses for either Bony or Tammy Abraham as a target man or Jordan Ayew.
In the 15 games I’ve started him in across the Premier League and FA Cup, he’s contributed three goals and made seven assists. Looking at the league list, Hazard has 14 assists from 32 and Anthony Knockaert has nine from 31 starts. Given the same amount of games as the Brighton man, you have to wonder if Nathan Dyer would be in behind Chelsea’s Belgian superstar.
We do have other players on that assist list, it should be said. Tammy Abraham has eight, while André Ayew and Roque Mesa have seven.
I find that my coaches underrate Dyer, calling him a leading Sky Bet Championship player and they mention his jumping reach in the negative column despite a whole host of positives including speed, agility, versatility, big matches, loyalty.
More important to me than his statistics or his attributes is the level of trust I have in him. Dyer has never let me down, many times I’ve seen him beat a full-back and get a cross in. That’s all I need from him. Let the defence and our two central midfielders win the ball back, before launching a counter through Dyer or André.
Other players will get the plaudits, goalscoring or making last-ditch tackles makes the headlines, but my player of the season will be Nathan Dyer.