Clement weighs up recall for middle men
PAUL Clement is considering recalls for Roque Mesa and Leon Britton after admitting the Swansea City midfield pair have suffered the most from increased competition.
Mesa, 28, has appeared in just one of the four Premier League fixtures so far this season after making an £11million move from Spanish club Las Palmas.
Club captain Britton has also made just the solitary league appearance, with that outing coming against Southampton on the opening day before he picked up a back injury.
Mesa was an unused substitute against Newcastle – although he was briefly readied to come on just as Jamaal Lascelles scored the winner – while Britton was sat in the Sky Sports studio helping to analyse the Liberty Stadium defeat.
Swansea had more than 60 per cent of possession against the Magpies, but they lacked the tempo in their passing play to open up a visiting side happy to sit deep and soak up pressure.
Britton has spent his entire Swansea career dictating play, and highlighted his ability to still do so at the age of 34 with a series of excellent performances during the final weeks of last season’s successful survival fight.
Mesa, meanwhile, was lauded for his ability on the ball in La Liga last season, where he had the fourth-highest pass completion rate. His initial lack of game time have led to fears among supporters he could follow in the footsteps of record signing Borja Baston, who made next to no impact after a big-money arrival in Spain.
But Clement insists Mesa and Britton are in his thoughts, but that they face a tough task given they are just two of eight potential central midfield options in the head coach’s squad.
“Roque is in my thoughts, he is ready to start as shown by him starting against Manchester United, but he is one of eight possibilities in that area once Ki is fit,” said Clement.
“There is a lot of competition particularly in that area, less so at the back and up front. He is very much in the reckoning for selection. Leon is the same. He picked up a minor injury that kept him out before the Palace game. The team won in that situation and he is being patient to be back involved.”