In the week he captained his nation to qualification for their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup, Ashley Williams’ stock just keeps on rising. And today we pose the question if the Welsh skipper is really the most prized asset in Swansea City?
Having joined the Welsh outfit whilst back in League One from Stockport, for a then club record fee of £500,000, no-one would have imagined that many of the Premier League’s top clubs would now be chasing his signature. An initial loan spell from Stockport was turned into a permanent deal after just four games, such was the quality of his first impression. But, he has left a much more lasting mark on the club since then.
300 games later and the centre half has made history with the Swans in playing his part as they became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League, in winning the club’s first major trophy and now he has become the first Welshman to captain his side to a major tournament for 57 years. Williams has become a household name in the city of Swansea.
But, despite his growing age, he just seems to be getting better and better. In his four years in the Premier League he has missed a mere seven games, with suspension playing a key role in this missed matches. He has been a stalwart for the club and has been consistently solid during their rapid rise.
Despite, the number of squad changes that have occurred as the Swans have continued to climb the table, he has remained the one constant, with not a single signing having threatened to dislodge him from the heart of the defence.
Related Post: Ashley Williams’ Top 5 Swansea Moments
From Chico Flores, to Kyle Bartley and even former club captain Garry Monk, no one could dislodge Ash at the back. They had to merely hope to be his centre back partner. A trustworthy and consistent player, all Swans managers for whom he has played under have placed their trust in his abilities and he has never let them down.
Everyone is susceptible to a bad game, no doubt. Everyone is susceptible to bad form, no doubt. But the old adage, form is temporary, but class is permanent stands true with the Welshman. He has been consistently class with the Swans and has earned the respect of many an admirer, with Arsenal, QPR and Sunderland having been just some of his lengthy list of suitors.
But, his loyalty to the cause at the Liberty along with the fact that he’s Welsh make him a rare breed; someone you can depend on, someone you can put your faith in week in, week out and know he’ll deliver. Someone you know that come September 2nd will still be donning the white of Swansea.
Williams has won the hearts of many a fan and many an opposition would hate to see his name in the starting line-up come game day. He is a stalwart, a rock and he is the epitome of Swansea City. Passion. Belief. And plenty of Calon.