Swansea City signed left-back Jake Bidwell on a free in the summer, and it’s so far proving to be a real coup for Steve Cooper.
After being released by QPR in the summer, Jake Bidwell landed himself at his third Championship club in Swansea.
Bidwell, 26, is a product of the Everton youth academy. He made one appearance for the Toffees, in the 2009/10 Europa League against BATE Borisov aged 16, but wouldn’t feature again in blue.
He spent two consecutive loan seasons at Brentford before signing permanently in 2013 – Bidwell spent a total of five seasons at Griffin Park, establishing himself as a sprightly young full-back and eventually becoming the club captain.
Contract negotiations broke down and he ended up joining West London rivals QPR in the summer of 2016 for an undisclosed fee.
Bidwell spent three seasons at QPR and again showed his worth at Championship level, but suffered through injury in his last which saw him make just 13 appearances all season.
Mark Warburton arrived at QPR in the summer and was tasked with cutting the wage bill, which resulted in Bidwell, amongst several other first-team players leaving the club for free.
Fans didn’t want to see him leave. He’s a solid footballer and Swansea have since realised how much of a scoop they made in signing him.
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Bidwell has made 13 appearances in the Championship for Swansea this season, who sit 4th in the Championship.
Cooper was appointed in the summer and very little was expected from the former England youth coach. But his side started the season on fire and despite a huge dip in form through the last couple of months (they were winless through the whole of September), look to be back on track with back-to-back wins.
Swansea spent just half-a-million pounds in the summer, and made just the one free signing in Bidwell. Several first-team players have come in on-loan, Sam Surridge, Freddie Woodman and Ben Wilmot all in South Wales for the season.
Cooper’s appointment was with the intention of financial hardship, his work in youth football being his USP.
Bidwell has been a cracking find for the Swans, and fans can rely on him putting in the performances as they bid for an unlikely promotion this season.