Tuesday 23 May 2017

Borja Baston flops in first season in South Wales

Yesterday we brought to Swansea’s star of the season in the form of Gylfi Sigurdsson. Despite his heroics, there have been few teammates who have failed to pull their weight this season and ultimately, underperformed by some distance. For the Player of the Year we could have presented you with Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente or Alfie Mason, but far the underperformer of the year, there are far too many candidates.

However, we believe no-one has underwhelmed quite as much as Borja Baston. Arriving from Atletico Madrid for a club record fee of £15.5million, there was a buzz around the Swans and the Liberty faithful were excited to see the striker in action. But Baston has far from enjoyed life in the Premier League thus far and it’s unsurprising to see him linked with a move away. 

For Eibar last season, the 24-year-old bagged an impressive 18 goals in 36 league games, equating to one goal every two games. And at Zaragoza the previous season, he boasted an even better record with 23 goals in 38 league games, starting every game for the Aragon club. But arriving in Wales, Baston failed to hit the ground running and has started just four league games for Swansea, costing the Swans over £3million per start. The Spaniard does have a further 14 appearances off the bench but has managed just one goal for the club, in a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.

Baston played little to no part in Swansea’s top-flight survival surge and we may well have seen the last of him at the Liberty. He did not feature in either of the club’s last two games and has not started for the club since the 7th of January in a 2-0 defeat to Hull. After failing to make an impact, the striker was hauled off on the hour mark and that pretty much sums up his debut season in the Premier League.

For all the excitement surrounding the transfer, particularly in regards to that hefty fee, it’s disappointing to see Baston’s move turn out how it has, though Paul Clement may throw the forward a lifeline. The Swansea boss said: “He hasn't had the kind of year he or we would have liked for various reasons - but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a future here.

"We have to all talk about that and decide what we're going to do for the best of him and the best of the club moving forward."

However, there is no brushing over his failings and Jason Levien who bought a controlling stake in the club in the same window Baston arrived stated that the club “certainly we had higher expectations” for the player. Should Baston depart, it’s likely that a move back to La Liga awaits, he is clearly prove in that league and suited to the style of play whereas the Premier League requires a lot more physicality. Though, if he does choose to stick around, he has his work cut out to prove himself.

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