Profile: Declan John

9th August 2018
First team

Declan John is young, talented and Welsh.

He has been playing first-team football for quite a while, yet he is only 23 and arrives at Swansea City with a desire to make his mark.

For Graham Potter, John fits the bill.

The Swans boss has been on the hunt for hungry players with potential this summer.

And just like Joel Asoro, Barrie McKay and Bersant Celina, John falls into that category.

Ryan Giggs is a fan of the former Cardiff City man.

The new Wales boss has capped John in each of his three games as national manager thus far.

Giggs explained in the spring that John was firmly in his plans because he was playing regular football – and impressing – in Rangers colours at the time.

Having been a victim of a change of manager at Ibrox, John will aim to do more of the same with the Swans.

The fact that he has been allowed to leave Rangers is something of a surprise.

After all, the Merthyr Tydfil-born star was one of the Glasgow giants’ more consistent and reliable performers in 2017-18.

He joined Rangers last August, initially on loan from Cardiff, and quickly established himself in the team.

John went on to make 31 appearances last season, getting forward to score three goals and supply four assists.

Such was John’s impact that his move to Rangers was made permanent in January, as he put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Yet he is on the move again after Steven Gerrard replaced Graeme Murty as Rangers boss.

Gerrard has signed former Liverpool full-back John Flanagan, as well as Croatian international left-back Borna Barisic, hence John has been allowed to join the Swans.

The transfer means a return home for John, who came through the ranks at Cardiff and was just 17 when he made his first-team debut for the club.

After a couple of cup appearances in 2012-13, John really made the breakthrough at the Cardiff City Stadium the following season, which was spent in the Premier League.

The teenager was used regularly by Malky Mackay in the top flight, racking up 23 club appearances as well as his first two Welsh caps in 2013-14.   

He found game-time harder to come by under Russell Slade and then Neil Warnock.

John had a spell on loan with Barnsley in 2015, then at Chesterfield in 2016.

He was back at Cardiff for 2016-17, making 16 appearances to take his total for the club to 52.

John then took his blend of power, energy and pace to Rangers, and he won plenty of plaudits during his stint north of the border.

The Swans hope for more of the same now he has returned to Wales.