Adjusting to seeing Korey Smith not in the red and white of Bristol City will likely have been difficult for many through the first part of the season but he has become an integral cog at Swansea City.
The Robins did not offer him a new contract, meaning he left Ashton Gate after six years in the summer and joined Swansea on a free transfer.
Smith made nearly 200 appearances for Bristol City but he’s with a new club now and his full focus has to be on succeeding with the Swans.
In today’s FLW Hat-Trick, we assess how things are going for the midfielder at the Liberty Stadium…
How’s it gone so far?
Smith has quickly become an integral player for the Swans, playing every minute of all but one of their Championship games this season.
The 29-year-old has formed part of a central midfield three in a 3-5-2 formation, usually alongside Matt Grimes and another player from Steve Cooper’s squad.
Smith has made an impressive start to life with the Swans and you feel his industrious style of play and leadership qualities have likely made him a popular figure among his teammates and the fans already.
His contributions have helped Swansea reach sixth after 11 games, a position they’ll likely feel is a good foundation to launch a play-off push from.
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What issues does he face?
An ongoing concern for Smith will be staying injury-free, having spent so much time on the sideline in his last few years as a Bristol City player.
This season, the schedule is more hectic than ever and as the campaign wears on Cooper may look to rotate him out of the side to ensure he can stay fit.
In Grimes and Jay Fulton, Swansea have strong options in his position, which is good news but also means Smith will have to stay at his best to avoid slipping to third in the pecking order.
Smith needs to continue to do exactly what he has done so far this term. The way he wins back the ball and recycles possession has been really useful for the Swans and they’ll be hoping he can continue to be effective as the season wears on.
There look likely to be very busy periods ahead and the 29-year-old will need to manage his workload to ensure he stays fit.
The Swans face three bottom-half teams in their next three matches, which presents them a fantastic opportunity to regain momentum after the international break.