The ex-Arsenal defender Zak Swanson has been through the Gunners academy since the age of 6 years old and signed his first professional contract in 2019. But his chances were few and far between at the Emirates, with the club always seeming to prefer to have older experienced heads in our first team’s back line, and he was sent out on loan to Maastricht on loan last season.
Unhappily he only played 3 competitive games in the Eredivisie and after returning to Arsenal in the summer, it was decided that he would try and further his career by moving to League One Portsmouth.
He started the season on the bench, but due to an injury to Joe Rafferty, he finally got his chance to show what he can do. And he has been extremely reliable. He has now made 7 starts playing in every match, and he could be a lucky charm as they are yet to lose with him on the pitch, and even scored his first senior goal in the 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury. Pompey are now in a position to break into the promotion spots if they win their games in hand.
Swanson has proven that he can be relied on, with the right-back believing he’s showing Pompey fans his potential but still craves to improve further as the season goes on. He told the Portsmouth News: ‘That’s five (League games) on the bounce now and I’m really enjoying it.
‘I’m enjoying every minute and I’m trying to get better.
‘It’s new for me getting league games and playing with experienced players.
‘I feel that I’m doing well now though and I need to continue to keep my place in the side.
‘I’m playing well, but I always feel I can get better.
‘I feel I can be more involved in the attacking side of the game, while staying on top defensively.
‘But I also feel I can help provide the qualities to help us win games.
‘I’m young and I’ve not played the games of some of the others. But I’m learning every day and learning from all the other experienced players around us, which makes my life easier.’
‘I’ve think I’ve shown I can perform, but there’s still a lot to learn and I think I can get better.
‘The competitive side of things is different and the 90 minutes seems to go so quick.
‘It’s difficult and there is the turnaround in games, playing every couple of days,
‘That’s something I haven’t experienced before, I’ve never played Saturday-Tuesday consistently like I have the past few weeks.
‘I’m really enjoying it though, having the turnaround and playing different types of games..
‘I’ve played Papa John’s games and into the league now and every game is different.
‘That’s what this league brings. One game it’s a side like Derby and then it can be smaller clubs. It’s a good experience.’
It’s great to see our youngsters making a career for themselves despite not making the breakthrough at Arsenal.
Perhaps we should have just sent him out on loan first….
Good luck Zak….
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