Swansea City were disappointing in the 2021-22 EFL Championship season, finishing 15th after they reached the promotion playoffs final in 2020-21. One of the main reasons why the Swans had a bad campaign was due to their leaky defence letting in 68 goals. It was the joint sixth-worst record in the division, along with their Welsh rivals, Cardiff City. Swansea have already made moves in the transfer market to fix their leaky defence as they have signed the 20-year-old centre-back, Ben Blythe from Doncaster Rovers, ahead of the 2022-23 EFL Championship. The Swans will hope for a better showing next season as they look to improve on their 15th place finish.
Blythe was a fringe player for Doncaster Rovers in the 2021-22 EFL League One season as he played only twice for a grand total of 135 minutes. In his limited playing time on the pitch, Blythe was mostly active in the left centre of the pitch in his third. The 20-year-old defender rarely ventured into the midfield, let alone into the attacking third and the penalty area of the opposition, as he opted for safety at the back. But Blythe did involve himself in the game to some extent, attempting close to 33 passes per game at a decent accuracy of 76.92%. To get the ball out of the danger zone, the 20-year-old attempted 8.24 long balls per 90 and they would often end up in the attacking third.
Given in the above viz are the duels attempted by Blythe in the previous EFL League One season. The 20-year-old defender attempted only one aerial duel, three 50/50s, and 12 ground-based defending duels in the 135 minutes he was afforded on the pitch. This brought the average minutes per duel attempted to one every 8.44 minutes.
Seen in the above visual is the interceptions map of Blythe. During his short time on the pitch for Donny, Blythe completed 6.34 interceptions per 90 and recovered two-thirds of the loose ball duels he contested. Additionally, the 20-year-old defender also attempted just under 14 defensive actions per 90, 7.61 defensive duels per 90 and made close to seven recoveries per 90.
Ben Blythe is expected to join the U-23 team of Swansea City in the summer, meaning he is not expected to hit the ground running but instead, will be eased into the first team by the end of 2022-23 campaign.