Routledge's aiming to become Swans' record-breaker

30th March 2017
First team

Which player has made the most Premier League appearances for Swansea City?

Even now, almost eight months after he left the club, Ashley Williams's name may spring to mind.
And indeed, the former club skipper has long led the way when it comes to top-flight outings in Swans colours.

But that changed when Ki Sung-Yueng's number appeared on the fourth official's board at Bournemouth almost a fortnight ago.

In Ki's place came Wayne Routledge, whose arrival from the bench at the Vitality Stadium means Williams has company at the top of the list.

Bournemouth was Premier League game No. 181 in a Swans shirt for Routledge.

And that tally puts the wideman level with Williams, who was a stalwart of the side throughout the club's stint in the top division until he departed for Everton last summer.

Williams missed only nine of the Swans' 190 Premier League games while he was at the club.

Routledge hopes to make his record-breaking 182nd appearance against Middlesbrough this weekend, which will be the Swans' 220th outing at Premier League level.

That is an impressive ratio for an attacking player, particularly as it took Routledge a while to make an impression after Brendan Rodgers brought him to South West Wales following the Swans' promotion from the Championship back in 2011.

It is a credit to Routledge that having been recruited by Rodgers, he has been kept firmly in the fold by every Swans boss who has followed in the Ulsterman's footsteps.

Routledge really started to shine under Michael Laudrup, when he chipped in with more goals than he ever had before in the top tier.

And during Garry Monk's Liberty reign, Routledge became such a model of consistency that he was among the first names on teamsheet.

The Swans have been through some turbulent times since that record-breaking 2014-15 campaign under Monk, but all along Routledge has been close to a fixture in the side.

Francesco Guidolin picked him, so did Bob Bradley and so too now does Paul Clement.

There was solid interest in Routledge from at least one club during the last January transfer window, but Clement made it clear that he did not want to let one of the senior figures in his squad leave.

So valued in SA1 is Routledge, in fact, that the Swans recently gave him a new contract which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2019.

All being well, therefore, there will be a few more Premier League appearances yet for a player who also leads the way - alongside a couple of others - in the list of Swans stars who have been involved in the most wins at the highest level.

Routledge has played in 58 Swans victories, the same number as Williams and long-serving right-back Angel Rangel.

Neil Taylor (45) is fourth in this list ahead of Nathan Dyer (44), Leon Britton (41), Gylfi Sigurdsson (39), Lukasz Fabianski (36) and Ki Sung-Yueng (32), with Federico Fernandez, Jonjo Shelvey and Michel Vorm coming next with 28 victories apiece.

At the bottom of the pile are four one-win wonders - Borja, Federico Bessone, Oli McBurnie and Andrea Orlandi.

After Routledge and Williams, the man with most Swans Premier League appearances to his name is Rangel (165), who is some way clear of Britton and Dyer (both 139).

Taylor (131), Sigurdsson (115), Ki (107) and Fabianski (103) are the only other centurions.

At the other end of that pile are four players who have featured just once in the Premier League - Bessone, Kenji Gorre, Vangelis Moras and Kristoffer Nordfeldt - then come the likes of David Ngog (three appearances), Josh McEachran (four), Alan Tate and Stephen Dobbie (both eight).

Sigurdsson has scored the most goals, the Icelander netting a laudable 33 times across his two stints as a Swan.

Wilfried Bony is next in the scoring charts with 25, ahead of Michu (20), Dyer (17), Danny Graham (15), Bafetimbi Gomis (13) and Andre Ayew (12).

Ki and Shelvey are also in double figures, having struck 10 Premier League goals each in the white shirt.

The Swans have had a total of 37 different goalscorers in the Premier League, 10 of whom have netted only once.

They are Modou Barrow, Nelson Oliveira, Marvin Emnes, Fede Fernandez, Borja, Jefferson Montero, Orlandi, Itay Shechter, Dwight Tiendalli and Mike van der Hoorn.

Routledge, the man who has appeared more often than most and has enjoyed so many wins, is alongside Graham in the rollcall of leading marksmen, having netted 15 times over the years.

That is a healthy return for a player who had never scored a Premier League goal in the nomadic career which preceded his long stint as a Swan.