Newcastle, Crystal Palace & Watford: Want-away Fabianski in demand with Premier League clubs
Does Swansea’s relegation signal an inevitable move back to the Premier League?
This month saw the end of Swansea City’s seven-season spell at the top table of English football and, just with any side who suffers demotion to the second tier, their star players are likely to attract interest.
Swans shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianski is no different, having been named Supporters’ Player of the Year after a string of impressive displays in 2017/18.
The 33-year-old has a year left on his contract in South Wales but reports from the BBC have indicated he has told the club of his inclination to leave this summer.
Sources state the Pole, who joined from Arsenal in 2014, wants a summer transfer to continue at the “highest level”.
Recent reports have linked a glut of lower-half Premier League clubs with his signature, as Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Watford and West Ham are all said to hold an interest.
It’s easy to see why.
An experienced goalkeeper
Fabianski has been a virtual ever-present for the Swans since his move four years ago – he has started 149 of the club’s 152 league matches in that time-frame. He has proven himself as a goalkeeper more than capable of excelling at the top level.
In addition to his shot-stopping ability – with a particularly strong record at stopping spot-kicks – his distribution is said to be highly valued.
The goalkeeper is also favoured to pip former Arsenal teammate Wojciech Szczęsny to the number one shirt with his nation at this summer’s World Cup.
Szczęsny has excelled in his understudy role for Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus this season, but looks set to miss out to his compatriot.
Fabianski replaced Szczęsny in the 2016 European Championships after the Juve goalkeeper suffered an injury in the opening match against Northern Ireland.
The Swans man went on to keep clean sheets in both of the remaining group games against World champions Germany and Ukraine.
He then kept his place as Poland defeated Switzerland in the Round of 16 before losing to eventual winners Portugal on penalties.
He will no doubt be keen to clarify his future, officially or otherwise, ahead of next month’s tournament in Russia, but time is tight.
One last swansong
Consistent, top-performing goalkeepers are becoming increasingly rare in England’s top flight. Palace’s move for Getafe’s Vicente Guaita broke down in January and Fabianski serves as a reliable alternative, with Wayne Hennessey’s performances inconsistent.
West Ham have Adrian, but it is unclear if he will remain first-choice when Joe Hart returns to Manchester City, while Heurelho Gomes at Watford is liable to frequent lapses in concentration.
At Newcastle, Martin Dúbravka’s loan spell is over and it is unclear if he will return to the Magpies ahead of next season.
What is clear if Fabianski’s consistent excellence and his commitment to the Swans in his four years at the club is to be admired. At 33, he cannot be criticised for seeking one more top-flight club in his career.