Swansea City boss Steve Cooper has revealed he was surprised that Aston Villa were willing to loan midfielder Conor Hourihane to them until the end of the season.
It was confirmed earlier this week that the 29-year-old would join the South Wales club for the rest of the 2020/21 campaign.
He had fallen out of favour at Villa Park with the likes of Ross Barkley, Anwar El Ghazi, and Bertrand Traore keeping him out of Dean Smith’s side.
The Swansea boss revealed that they worked hard to get a deal done and could not believe their luck that a player of his quality was available.
He said (via Birmingham Live): “Once we knew that he may be available – we pursued it 110 percent.
“We were surprised that he may be available, and we really went for it in terms of trying to maximise the chance of him being here and fortunately he has decided this is the next step for him.
“A lot of work went into getting the deal done and he’s really bought into our plan and the role he can play within it.”
Cooper’s side are second in the Championship as things stand and landing a player of Hourihane’s quality is a significant boost for the Swans in their promotion push – particularly as both Morgan Gibbs-White and Kasey Palmer have been recalled from their loans this month.
The Republic of Ireland international has thrived in the English second tier in the past and was instrumental when Villa were promoted in 2018/19 – scoring eight goals and providing 12 assists.
7 of these 18 facts about Swansea City boss Steve Cooper are fake – Can you identify which ones aren’t true?
You can see where Cooper is coming from here.
Landing a player of Hourihane’s quality, who has a sensational record in the Championship, on loan is a major coup for the Swans.
Villa have taken a step up this season and it seems the South Wales club are set to capitalise on that.
The 29-year-old looks the sort of midfielder that could thrive in Cooper’s system, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was made permanent in the summer – particularly if they’re promoted.