Swansea City have completed their second signing of the summer with Watford defender Ben Wilmot joining the club on a season-long loan.
The 19-year-old arrives at the Liberty Stadium after making six senior appearances for Watford before also impressing on loan with Serie A side Udinese last term.
Wilmot adds some much-needed depth to Swansea’s defence and looks set to challenge centre-backs Mike van der Hoorn and Joe Rodon for their places in the side, while the loanee can also operate in midfield.
The Hitchin Town product is familiar with new Swans boss Steve Cooper after the pair worked together during their time in the England national side’s development set-up.
But what exactly will Wilmot be bringing to Swansea? We take a closer look at the stats…
Wilmot played 757 minutes of senior action across his spells at two different clubs last season, as he featured six times for Watford during the first half of the campaign before making five appearances for Udinese during his loan spell. This means his move to Swansea should benefit him significantly, as he will no be eager to play with regularity for a full season and increase his number of minutes next term.
However, during his time on the pitch, Wilmot managed to display a range of the qualities he will be bringing to Swansea for the season ahead. He is very comfortable on the ball which is exemplified in his 80.1% pass success rate last term, and this will be extremely well-suited to Swansea’s possession-based brand of football. He also recorded an 83.3% success rate in his dribbles which reflects his ability to carry the ball from deep. This is something Swansea fans often saw Rodon and van der Hoorn do last term, so all the signs point towards Wilmot fitting in with the tactical structures already in place at the club.
It should also be noted the defender is also capable of diversifying his playing style, as he attempted 7.85 long passes per game last season. This suggests he is not just comfortable carrying the ball forward, but can also launch attacks from deep and transition the ball with maximum speed. Although Swansea are not known for their route-one football, Wilmot’s passing range will still be an asset to the Swans next season in terms of switching play.
Crucially, Wilmot is also a strong defender. His playing style is ultimately focused around defence, and the fact he managed to perform 5.71 interceptions per game last term shows how he uses his athleticism to reclaim the ball. Whereas Rodon is more of a tough-tackling defender, it could be said Wilmot is more intelligent in the way he wins the ball back. However, both methods are just as effective.
The one area where Wilmot’s stats could be better is his aerial ability, as he only managed to win 40% of his aerial duels last term. At 6ft 1in, Wilmot is not exactly short in size so this is something he should be looking to develop with Swansea next year. However, this is just one area for improvement and Swansea fans should be feeling optimistic for the season ahead with Wilmot in their side’s ranks.