|CHAIRBOYS GET A BARGAIN
(Thursday 18th October 2001)
Reaction from Swansea on Wanderers' capture of their star winger Stuart Roberts has been unanimous - at just over £100,000 Wycombe have got an absolute bargain!
Former Swansea youth team manager Ron Walton, a victim of chairman Tony Petty's cash-saving cutbacks at the Vetch Field told the South Wales Echo "In today's market I would've thought Stuart is worth at least £300,000,"
Walton was connected with Swansea when Roberts joined the Welsh club as a nine year old. Roberts later left but returned to sign on schoolboy forms when he was 14 and has been at Swansea ever since.
"He is a former Wales Under-21 player who is only going to improve over the next five years and I wouldn't be surprised if Wycombe sold him on for something like £2m." added Walton.
Swansea manager Colin Addison also joined in those bemoaning Wycombe's knockdown price of £102,500. He told Swansea's official website (www.swanseacity.net) "He's worth far more than that." Addison went on to say "I've worked with many skilful players in England and Spain, and I'm telling you, this kid can go all the way." The Swansea boss wished him well at his new club. "He's a smashing kid. He's got the attitude, the desire, and he's got the ability, that's for sure. I'm sure it won't be long before we see him playing for the full Welsh side, rather than the Under-21's, it will be sooner rather than later."
Addison spoke to Tony Petty following Wycombe's bid and said that the offer wasn't high enough. "I know our situation is acute, the financial problems and all that, but I told him, it's cheap, it's not enough."
However, Addison defended the player's decision to move. "The kid isn't just going for money, he's going to better his career. He'll do well at Wycombe, and whose to say he won't move on again, with all respect to a bigger club?".
It appears that Roberts was reluctant to move from City. The 21 year said "It's a sad day for me, but I hope everyone understands the reason why I am moving. I'm not jumping ship. It's a tough decision that I have made after thinking long and hard, and taking advice from many people, including all the squad."
Roberts was on a week-to-week with Swansea and it was made clear to him that there was little likelihood of that changing. "If I broke my leg on Saturday, what would my position be then?" added the Welshman.
His parting message to the Swansea fans was "I'm going, but I'll be back! Everyone knows how I love this Club, and I'll still be around, and I'll catch as many games as I can."
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