'He will be big for us'
Mike van der Hoorn insists he is looking forward to handing the Swansea City armband back to Leroy Fer – because he wants to see his mate on the pitch.
Defender van der Hoorn has been one of the Swans’ most consistent performers in the first third of the Championship season.
The former Ajax man has started every league game in 2018-19, and has led the Swans in 12 of those matches in the absence of club skipper Fer.
But while he has relished the leadership role, van der Hoorn is keen to see Fer re-establish himself as a regular Swans starter.
Fer missed the start of the season having suffered a ruptured Achilles back in February and, as he looked to build match fitness, the midfielder picked up a groin problem at the beginning of September.
Boss Graham Potter continues to be cautious with Fer as a result, but van der Hoorn has fingers crossed that his fitness issues are a thing of the past.
“Myself and Leroy are good friends outside the pitch,” he said.
“We have not played together as much as we would have liked this season because of his injuries, but we hope there will be a chance to do that going forward.
“Leroy is an important player for us and he is also a good skipper for the team.
“He will be a big part of this season I am sure.”
Potter made the decision to name Fer and van der Hoorn as captain and deputy respectively having assessed the Swans squad during pre-season.
And van de Hoorn believes he and his fellow countryman have worked well as a unit so far.
“It is easy for us to communicate when we are on the pitch together because we speak Dutch to each other,” he added.
“That helps us communicate faster on the field. We can talk to each other and help each other out.
“Sometimes in the game you can’t hear each other well and having the Dutch language helps us to understand each other and get our points across.
“Maybe sometimes it can give us a little advantage over the other teams.”