Garry Monk grabs new contract as Swans look to snare Robson-Kanu


Swansea City (16/1 with Coral for a Premier League top six finish) continue to go quietly and briskly about their business, with manager Garry Monk’s contract extension a deserved and unsurprising development, as the Welsh club look to secure what has been one of their most stable and successful spells.

Monk has signed on the dotted line to commit to the club for a further three-years, until the summer of 2018, having guided the side he previously captained as a player to a best-ever eighth place Premier League finish.

After inking his extension, Monk told press: “I’m extremely pleased to sign the new deal. We’ve been talking for a while…it was a situation both myself and the club felt was important to get clarified before the season started.

“This is my 12th year at Swansea and I’ve always given everything for the club. That will continue and I’m excited and looking forward to the new campaign,” added the 36-year-old following his first full season as a coach.

With a decade as a Swans player under his belt, few know the Liberty Stadium and all it’s intricacies as well as Monk, whose loyalty so far seems to make him the perfect long-term match following the drama and departures of the likes of Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup, the four big names who came before him.

Modest Monk has squeezed the best out of his relatively small budget side, showing the ability to carry on the Swans’ recent tradition of possession-based football, and also to inspire and scrape results when things are not going their way.

It was perhaps the loss of frontman Wilfried Bony in the last winter window that best showed-off his talent for getting on with the task at hand, and utilizing the tools at his disposal to navigate choppy waters, and this deal can be seen as a reward for results and resilience.

The Englishman is not about to rest on his laurels, however, having recently stated: “Last season was fantastic and I learned a lot to take forward. But even with the success we all had, from the staff to the players, you can never afford to stand still…I believe we have put good foundations in place, but now it’s vital we build on that and push forward.”

Current reports suggest that the Swans will do just that by continuing to add to their attack, meaning Monk should hopefully not have to make do with a depleted frontline once again.

Wales and Reading winger Hal Robson-Kanu is the latest to be linked to the Liberty, following a string of impressive outings for his nation. The flexible forward can operate on either flank or up top due to his plentiful pace, power and the ability and strength to hold up the ball.

With the Dragons, the 26-capped star has worked wonderfully as a supporting act for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, also an incredibly adaptable attacker.

Speaking of the potent partnership, selfless Robson-Kanu said: “I’m a foil for him. I create a lot of space for him. I’ll occupy the defenders while he can get on the ball and try to find me.”

Swansea’s apparent interest in the former Arsenal academy player may be due to previous signing Andre Ayew, whose versatility could see the two also attacking in tandem in a similar way, as Robson-Kanu’s physique would make him a viable alternative to Bafetimbi Gomis.

Robson-Kanu has hardly been rampant for Reading (10/1 for promotion from the Championship), whose youth ranks he joined in 2004 after leaving the Gunners, with just 25 goals and 19 assists in over 190 appearances, but his all-round play has seen him become increasingly important for the Royals.

The wideman is used to being dismissed, however, and recently spoke of Arsenal’s decision to axe him as a teenager.

“They thought I wasn’t strong enough or quick enough. I was a late developer…they said that was one of the worst decisions they’d made, letting me go. I worked hard on my physicality.” With such determination and spirit, London-born Robson-Kanu could certainly thrive and bloom as one of Monk’s main men.

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