Russell Martin has had some clear favourites amongst the first team squad since taking to the helm at Swansea City.
The Scotsman’s preferences have seen a handful of players who saw more playing time under Steve Cooper fall down the pecking order. This is natural with new ideas and especially when Martin has looked to implement a very different brand of football to that of the Nottingham Forest manager.
Yan Dhanda and Jay Fulton featured in the FA Cup over the weekend having seen limited first team opportunities this season and Martin explained that they could set for an exit this month when he spoke to WalesOnline.
He said: “There have been players in front, unfortunately for both of them, they’re competing with in probably one of our strongest departments, the midfield, the guys that have been in there have done brilliantly so far this season.
“They’re excellent professionals. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens on those because I’m pretty sure both of them will want to play more football than they have done.”
Martin has stayed very loyal to the likes of Flynn Downes and Jamie Paterson, playing in the positions previously occupied by Dhanda and Fulton, there would be plenty of suitors for the pair if made available and therefore this could be a situation to keep an eye on for the rest of the window.
Quiz: Can you name which club Swansea City signed these 28 midfielders from?
It is a credit to the work ethic and maturity of the pair that they have not let their standards drop in training and their presence has probably made the players above them in the pecking order perform better to keep their place in the side.
Dhanda has never been a first team regular in South Wales and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, there is certainly some value to be had in the transfer market for the 23-year-old’s services.
As for Jay Fulton it is a bit more a surprise to see him used so sparingly under Russell Martin. The 27-year-old has a contract running until the summer of 2024 so some asset management will have to come into play if he is to leave the club this month. It will be interesting to see if either of the players’ performances were enough to earn further opportunities when the Swans travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.