Fraser Watson on how Nathan Dyer went from being touted for England to falling out of favour at Swansea City.
Plaudits were pouring in for Garry Monk and his side, who had defied a host of scepticism to get off to a 100% start after three games of the season.
And the scorer of two goals that day, following on from his winner against Burnley the week before, was suddenly being touted for an England call up.
However, those proved to be Nathan Dyer’s last league goals of the season, and his scintillating form dipped as the campaign wore on.
Therefore, international recognition never came, and almost inconceivably, a year on from the West Brom win he has been deemed temporarily surplus to requirements in a Swansea shirt – and joined Leicester City on loan until the end of the 2015/16 season.
When Dyer lined up against York City in the Capital One Cup last week, in what was very much a second string line-up, it was perhaps testament to the squad’s current strength in depth.
For the 27-year-old has proved invaluable for the club since joining from Southampton, originally on loan, in early 2009.
His pace and trickery made him an instant hit at the Liberty Stadium, and like so many others, as the club has grown in recent times and adapted to life in the top flight, so has Dyer.
And regardless of his future, the little winger is already cemented in Swansea folklore, after creating two of the goals in Swansea’s 2010/2011 Championship Play Off Final win over Reading, and scoring two himself when the club hammered Bradford to claim the 2012/2013 Capital One Cup – both at Wembley.
Being hyper critical, his finishing and final ball has not always complimented his build up play, but 17 league strikes in four Premiership seasons still represents a useful contribution in front of goal. Furthermore, given some of the players called up by Roy Hodgson in recent times, he can consider himself unlucky to have never been capped by England.
However, it has been hard to argue with his recent omission as in wingers Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew, Swansea have unearthed two revelations.
The latter has struck three times in his first four Premier League games, one during a man of the match display against Manchester United on Sunday, while Montero’s raw pace and dismantling of the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and Daryl Janmaat has earned rave reviews.
Perhaps most tellingly of all, when Montero withdrew on the eve of the United game with a thigh injury, it was Wayne Routledge who was see by Monk as the next winger in line.
Many will justifiably argue that he (Dyer) was still set to play an important role in the 2015/16 season, albeit as a squad player. Indeed, his display against York, and first minute goal, suggested he was prepared to fight for his place.
However, perhaps for a man who has played such a prominent role in Swansea’s first team these past six years, the realisation of becoming a bit part player was hard to fathom.
In that respect, the move is understandable, and one can only hope a return to regular first team football benefits Dyer and the club in the long term.
Swansea fans will sincerely hope the former Southampton winger is seen in a Swansea shirt again – but sadly football moves on, and temporarily at least, so has Nathan Dyer.
Regardless of whether he returns, his form and contribution in South Wales will always be remembered in a positive light.