Looking back at Neil Taylor's Swans career
1st February 2017
Neil Taylor's finest achievements with the Swans harshly came as a spectator.
For two of Swansea City's finest achievements in its 115-year history, Taylor was, just like the thousands of fans who had travelled to London, watching on from the side.
A rare red card - the only one of his career to date - and a broken ankle would deny Taylor his moments of glory at Wembley.
An early dismissal in the play-off semi-final first leg draw at Nottingham Forest robbed Taylor of his place in the grand finale against Reading.
Then came an injury that would see him miss out on lifting the club's first major piece of silverware - the League Cup in 2013.
It seems harsh on a player deemed part of the furniture ever since he arrived from non-league side Wrexham in 2010.
Of his 179 appearances for the Swans, Taylor played in the Championship, Premier League, domestic cups and the Europa League.
A solid, reliable left-back, he joined a Swans side that was on the rise.
His season at the Liberty culminated in promotion to the Premier League via the play-off final.
He may not have been part of the team on the field that day but, wearing his club suit, Taylor joined the on-pitch celebrations as he slid across the Wembley turf alongside his team-mates who had seen off Reading in a rollercoaster ride of a final.
Goodbye Championship, hello Premier League.
For Taylor, it was a return of some sorts to English football's top flight, having spent six years at Manchester City before injury ended his time with the club while aged 15.
A fine first season in the Premier League saw the Swans earn high praise. So too did Taylor, who had attracted interest from Newcastle before the defender penned a new deal to remain at the Liberty.
Included in the Great Britain squad for the London Olympics in the summer of 2012, Taylor made five appearances as Stuart Pearce's side reach the quarter-finals.
Then came another hammer blow. A broken ankle suffered in a home draw with Sunderland meant Taylor was sidelined for a huge chunk of the campaign.
It meant he was, once again, left watching as the Swans lifted League Cup silverware at Wembley following a record 5-0 win over Bradford.
A brief return to action later in the campaign helped give Taylor a boost ahead of the new season, which saw the Swans enjoy a Europa League adventure.
Despite Ben Davies' form, Taylor would still make 20 appearances in the 2013-14 campaign, before he became a prominent figure under Garry Monk as the club recorded its best finish and points tally the following year.
After signing a new four-year deal in June 2015, the St Asaph product enjoyed another fine campaign - playing 34 times for the Swans, while at international he played a key role in helping Wales reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals, in which he also scored his first goal for his country in the 3-0 group stage win over Russia.
This season at domestic level, Taylor featured 13 times for the Swans, with his final appearance coming in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
Now he enters another chapter of his career with Aston Villa, where, like he did in his first season with the Swans, Taylor looks to taste Championship promotion.
Everyone at Swansea City would like to thank Neil for his service to the club, and wish him well in his career.
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