World Cup Swans: Leroy Fer
As the 2018 World Cup draws closer, the official website takes a look back at the players who have turned out for the Swans and played on the biggest stage of all.
Today, we focus on Leroy Fer.
AT THE WORLD CUP
Having made his international debut for the Netherlands four years earlier, Fer was named in Louis van Gaal’s 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup finals.
He watched from the bench as the Dutch opened with a comprehensive 5-1 rout of defending champions Spain in Group B, before narrowly edging out Australia 3-2 to book their place in the knockout stages with a match to spare.
Fer did get his opportunity as a 75th-minute substitute as van Gaal rotated his side against Chile.
He took just two minutes to make an impact as he broke the deadlock by heading home Daryl Janmaat’s cross with his first touch of the ball, as the Dutch won 2-0 to secure top spot in Group B.
However, that would be Fer’s only contribution in Brazil as he returned to the bench in the second round, where the Netherlands scored two late goals to snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico.
He also watched on as the Dutch were taken to a penalty shootout by Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, before eventually prevailing 4-3 on spot-kicks.
Penalties were necessary again in the Netherlands’ semi-final with Argentina, but there was to be no happy ending as they were beaten 4-2 in the shootout.
Fer was an unused substitute once more in the third place play-off as the Dutch bowed out of the tournament with a commanding 3-0 success over host nation Brazil.
AT THE SWANS
Fer initially joined the Swans on loan from Queens Park Rangers in February 2016, and made 11 appearances at the back end of the 2015-16 season.
His performances helped steer the club clear of relegation and prompted manager Francesco Guidolin to make the move permanent the following summer.
He played 37 times in all competitions during the 2016-17 campaign as the Swans finished 15th in the Premier League, scoring six goals.
The midfielder racked up a further 27 appearances last season before sustaining a ruptured Achilles against Leicester City in February that ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.
Fer has played 63 times for the Swans in all competitions to date, scoring nine goals.