All of the confirmed January transfers for Welsh players

Here is a comprehensive list of the Welsh players that have new deals in January.

Date Name Club Fee
1st January 2019 Christian Doidge Forest Green Rovers from Bolton Wanderers Return from loan
1st January 2019 Lee Evans Wigan Athletic from Sheffield United Undisclosed (confirmation of transfer agreement from Summer)
3rd January 2019 Tom Bradshaw Millwall from Barnsley Undisclosed (confirmation of transfer agreement from Summer)
3rd January 2019 Aaron Lewis Doncaster Rovers from Swansea City Loan
4th January 2019 Jonny Williams Charlton Athletic from Crystal Palace Undisclosed
7th January 2019 Dave Edwards Shrewsbury Town from Reading Free
8th January 2019 Chris Maxwell Charlton Athletic from Preston North End Loan
11th January 2019 James Collins Ipswich Town Free
18th January 2019 Regan Poole Newport County from Manchester United Loan
22nd January 2019 Chris Mepham AFC Bournemouth from Brentford £12m
23rd January 2019 Mark Harris Port Vale from Cardiff City Loan
28th January 2019 Gethin Jones Mansfield from Fleetwood Town Loan
30th January 2019 Rabbi Matondo Schalke 04 from Manchester City £9.6m
31st January 2019 Sam Vokes Stoke City from Burnley Undisclosed
31st January 2019 Andy King Derby County from Leicester City Loan
31st January 2019 Danny Williams Cardiff City from Haverfordwest County Undisclosed
31st January 2019 Joe Ledley Free agent Free

Ryan Giggs announces his squad for the fixtures against Spain and Rep. of Ireland

Wales manager, Ryan Giggs named his 25-man squad ahead of the friendly v Spain and Nations League match v Republic of Ireland. This announcement didn’t draw too many surprises, other than Joe Rodon’s omission after his excellent form for Swansea.

The difficulty of picking players:

“It was straightforward this time because I was happy with the last camp. Tom Lockyer and Joe Ledley are injured at the moment, so they are the two players who are left out.”

“I feel as though Joe Rodon is best to go with Rob Page because I think Jazz Richards was a better fit to this squad. I have spoken to him in last few camps and he was unlucky to miss out on the last set of matches. Picking Jazz over Joe was the only real difficulty I had because Jazz isn’t getting regular games at Cardiff.”

Friendly with Spain at the Principality Stadium:

“Every player’s motivation will be high. Playing for your country, playing against a good team and a chance to test yourself at the Principality Stadium. It will be something different for the players, but they will be ready for the challenge.

“It will be getting the balance right for the competitive and more important game against Ireland, but also the players will be desperate to be involved against a top side in Spain.

“It’s my decision to analyse our players and make a decision on who is to play for both games. It’s possible that the team picked for the Ireland game could be a lot different to the Spain team.”

“We felt this game gave us a good opportunity to play in a bigger stadium. A lot of the players haven’t played there so it will be a fantastic occasion in a stadium where I have many happy memories – my favourite being the win against Italy and coming off the pitch in an unbelievable atmosphere.”

“I recognise that we have a great record at the Cardiff City Stadium. We’re not dismissing the Liberty or the Racecourse for future games either. For every game we need to have different options looking forward.”

Aaron Ramsey’s current situation:

“Ramsey won’t be affected when he comes with us. From what I saw from him last time when he met up, he was a fantastic player and a top professional.

“I don’t expect it [the contractual negotations] to impact his performances with Wales. All I’m concentrating on is a player who comes and gives his all with fantastic qualities.”

“He’s a good player so he’d be suitable to play in any league. But at the moment he’s an Arsenal player and he will be fully concentrating on that, it’s pure speculation at the moment.”

“I haven’t spoken to him yet about his wife having a baby. I don’t like to speak to players when they have games on the weekend, but in the next couple of days or so I will be in touch with Aaron about his personal situation.”

Gareth Bale’s minor injury and game time next week:

“Gareth had a groin strain on the weekend, but the scan was clear. He expects to play on Saturday evening for Real Madrid.

“You want a good relationship with all the clubs, especially with Gareth at Madrid. Every game is huge for a club of that size – how many minutes he plays, how often he trains etc. Ideally, I want him to play every minute, but that’s not possible.”

“Gareth Bale will be presented with an honour before the game against Spain next week for becoming Wales’ highest goalscorer. Make sure you get there early!”

The game against Rep. of Ireland in Dublin:

“It’s not easy for the quick turnaround, we should be fresh after our Spain match.

“I don’t think our game against Denmark was down to fatigue – we just didn’t have the length of time to prepare like we did for Ireland.”

“I respect Martin as a manager and I expect a backlash performance. When you get beat as a player, you want to rectify that so I expect a difficult game. If we play to the level that we did in the first game we’ll be fine.”

“The reception from the fans in Cardiff against Ireland was what dreams were made of. But our last game was against Denmark and we got beat and we need to improve on a lot of things. We have to get back to what we’re good at.”

When asked about Roy’s snub at the end of the game in Cardiff: “Roy, like me, is a winner so I expect him to have some reaction and there are no hard feelings.

“I was with him last week in Cork for Liam Miller’s memorial match. We were as normal as ever.”

Ethan Ampadu’s future:

“He is getting matches at U23 level, but it’s difficult as we’ve seen with Wilson and Woodburn [at Liverpool] to see where these players will get their games.

“I was more than pleased with how he turned up in the last camps. He’s only just turned 18 so he has plenty of time at a top club in Chelsea.

“Ethan can be anything he wants to be; what a player and character to have. A manager’s dream, but again, he’s only 18.”

Andy King picked despite not playing a game for Leicester:

“He’s frustrated with not playing at Leicester. It’s about seeing how the players turn up, of course, you want players playing regularly.

“He’s a good pro and looks after himself. Whether he plays 30 mins, an hour or not at all, we’ll assess that as good as we can do.”

Attacking quality in numbers:

He jokes: “I’m impressed with Tyler [Roberts] scoring but not with Harry [Wilson] scoring [against Manchester United last week].

“Sam Vokes scored for Burnley at the weekend. We want players coming into the camp scoring goals, it brings great competition to the camp.”

“I have no concerns regarding Ben Woodburn, he’s just not getting regular games at Sheffield United currently.

“Sometimes a loan works out sometimes it doesn’t, he can come through this and be a better player. It’s up to Ben now, he’s got the quality to perform.”

“David Brooks is another player I enjoy coaching, he can do things out of the ordinary. When you get your chance, you have to take it and he has at Bournemouth.”

A future Team GB:

“Without getting into the details, in my experience in 2012, it was fantastic. Whatever the FAW have with regards to the women is up to them.”


 

I also spoke with Wales U21 manager, Robert Page. You can view what he said on the blog’s Twitter feed – www.twitter.com/behindthegoal16

Read more:
• Mitchell Clark “surprised” at not being named in the Wales U21 squad
• Wales Watch: Tyler Roberts shines again for Leeds in midweek
• What needs to be done to end Cardiff’s winless campaign? 
• Three Welsh players net their first club goals this season 
• Wales Watch: Harry Wilson shows his quality in the League Cup 
• Wales Watch: Ramsey and Wilson hit form 

Wales Watch: Tyler Roberts shines again for Leeds in midweek

Tyler Roberts scored the only goal in Leeds’ 1-0 win over Hull to take them to the top of the Championship. After not featuring for the majority of the opening fixtures, he is definitely adjusting to life in the Championship . A stunning right-footed strike from 25 yards into the bottom corner showed why he is keeping his place in the side. Roberts has netted 3 times and managed 1 assist in 5 games this season.

It was a sixth clean sheet of the season for Swansea on Tuesday night. Yet again, Joe Rodon was at the heart of defence and has become steadily accustomed to the gruelling demands of the Championship. Connor Roberts played in an advanced midfield role on the right for Swansea instead of at right-back, but couldn’t impact the scoreline. Lee Evans played the 90 mins for Wigan in the 0-0 draw and Daniel James was an unused sub for Swansea.

James Chester had a bad evening for Aston Villa and was sent off on 54 minutes for a last ditch tackle against Preston. Chris Maxwell and Andrew Hughes started together again for the away side in a game that finished 3-3 – Maxwell won the point for Preston by saving a penalty in the 96th minute!

There was Champions League action on Wednesday for Ben Davies as Spurs lost 2-4 against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium. Davies played 90 minutes at left-back in a defensive four, but couldn’t stop Lionel Messi thriving on the night.

Harry Wilson started for Derby in their 1-1 result against Norwich. Tom Lawrence and Louis Thompson came on in the second half for the home and away teams. Joe Ledley again missed the squad of 18.

Tom Bradshaw and Steve Morison were both introduced on 75 minutes to salvage a result for Millwall. The game with Nottingham Forest ended up finishing 2-2, but no goals or assists for either striker.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Chris Gunter and Chris Mepham played 90 mins for Reading and Brentford in two draws, respectively. Ashley Williams and Joe Allen played 90 mins in Stoke’s 2-0 win against Bolton and Christian Doidge made a 20 minute appearance for the away team towards the end of the match.

Gwion Edwards came on as a half-time substitute for Ipswich in their 0-2 loss against Middlesbrough and Marley Watkins was a second half introduction in Bristol City’s 0-0 draw with Rotherham.

In League One, Adam Matthews and George Thomas both got an assist each for their clubs. Barnsley’s Adam Davies and Ryan Hedges played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Plymouth.

There are only five unbeaten teams left in the football league this season – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Forest Green Rovers. Liam Shephard captained FGR on Tuesday evening in their fourth win of the season over Cambridge. Seven times capped international, George Williams was an unused substitute.

Finally, a late mention for David Brooks – who missed the weekend update, but he scored a cracker against Wayne Hennessey on Monday night for Bournemouth.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive all of the latest updates.

Read more:
• What needs to be done to end Cardiff’s winless campaign?
• Three Welsh players net their first club goals this season 
• Wales Watch: Harry Wilson shows his quality in the League Cup 
• Wales Watch: Ramsey and Wilson hit form 

Three Welsh players net their first club goals this season

Cardiff-born Andrew Hughes is doing all that he can to capture the attention of Ryan Giggs. The Preston left-back scored his first goal for the club from a free kick after signing in the summer. With Paul Dummett currently injured and other left-backs Neil Taylor and Declan John not getting regular football, Hughes could be in contention for his first international call up next week. Chris Maxwell was in goal for Preston but couldn’t stop West Brom scoring three goals to win the game 3-2.

It was the perfect day for Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium as they beat QPR 3-0. Connor Roberts scored his first goal for the club, following his first career goal just three weeks ago for Wales. Joe Rodon kept his place at the back and could be another player to earn his first Wales senior call up. Daniel James was an unused substitute for the Swans.

Tyler Roberts maintained his good form with Leeds as they drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday. Roberts played the full match and bagged an assist for the stunning Leeds equaliser. Ash Baker played an hour for Sheff Weds at left back.

It was a first goal of the season for Sam Vokes, who headed in Burnley’s winner against Cardiff to win 2-1. Jazz Richards was an unused substitute for Cardiff in the same game.

Keiron Freeman is another player who will be looking to impress Ryan Giggs ahead of upcoming internationals, as he remains first-choice right-back for Sheffield United. He played 90 mins in a dramatic 3-2 away win against Millwall, where veteran Steve Morison captained the home side. Tom Bradshaw was an unused sub for Millwall and Ben Woodburn was not in the 18 for Sheff Utd.

Ashley Williams and Joe Allen started together in the Stoke team for the first time this month, but were unable to guide the team to their third league victory of the season. Stoke conceded two goals again and sit in 17th position after drawing 2-2 with 18th placed Rotherham.

Brentford’s Chris Mepham and Reading’s Chris Gunter played 90 minutes against each other on Saturday in a game that finished 2-2 at Griffin Park. Meanwhile, Derby’s Harry Wilson couldn’t quite match the excellent level he displayed at Old Trafford in midweek against Man Utd. Derby lost against Bolton 1-0 away from home and Tom Lawrence made his first appearance for The Rams after returning from suspension. Christian Doidge came on for the final 15 minutes for Bolton.

James Chester played his regular 90 minutes for Villa, but failed to keep a clean sheet again. The game finished 1-1 with Bristol City and Marley Watkins appeared for a few minutes to see out the match.

Lee Evans‘ Wigan lost 1-0 away from home against Norwich, where Louis Thompson made a second half appearance in midfield for the Canaries. Evans is a likely candidate to be called up next week because Andy King and Joe Ledley are not getting any first team football currently.

Aaron Ramsey will have been massively disappointed to be taken off after an hour for Arsenal. The breakdown in contract negotiations became public news this week and will have no doubt influenced Emery’s decision in the game to bring Ramsey off early. Ramsey is rumoured to move to Serie A, either in January for a fee or next summer when his contract finishes.

It was a slight worry to see Gareth Bale brought off at half time in the Madrid derby for what was thought to be a minor muscular injury. Here’s hoping he is fit for the matches against Spain and Rep. of Ireland in a couple of weeks.

In League One, Adam Matthews came on very early in the first half for Sunderland as they drew 1-1 with Coventry. Adam Davies remains as Barnsley no.1 and played 90 mins in their 3-1 win against Fleetwood. Tom Lockyer came off injured after 38 minutes for Bristol Rovers.

Alex Babos made his first appearance for Spanish Segunda side Real Union on Sunday evening, coming on in the 76th minute. 18-year-old Matt Smith played in central midfield in FC Twente’s 2-1 comeback win.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive all of the latest updates.

Read more:
• Wales Watch: Harry Wilson shows his quality in the League Cup
• Wales Watch: Ramsey and Wilson hit form 
• Tyler Roberts was the star player of the midweek games 
• Club football restarts: Welsh player updates 

Tyler Roberts was the star player of the midweek games

It was a night to remember for Tyler Roberts on Tuesday night. Roberts ensured he marked his second introduction with two brilliant second-half goals, following his debut appearance for Leeds on the weekend. The first finish was a delightful chip over the keeper to go 2-0 ahead, and the second was a trademark striker’s header to finish 3-0.

Real Madrid comfortably beat Roma 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday evening and Gareth Bale was once again amongst the goals. He scored Madrid’s second of the night by running on to a world class pass from Luka Modric and finishing into the bottom corner.

Swansea lost their second game of the season, thanks to ex-Swansea graduate Joe Allen. It is rare that Allen scores for Stoke, but this was a vital win against his former club. Swansea only kept Connor Roberts in the team from Saturday, as Joe Rodon and Declan John were dropped to the bench. Welsh winger, Daniel James played 72 minutes for the Swans.

James Chester captained Aston Villa to successfully attaining their first clean sheet of the season. After playing 90 minutes against Blackburn on the weekend, Neil Taylor was dropped from the squad of 18 altogether. Chris Gunter got another 90 mins for Reading but failed to keep a clean sheet.

Ben Davies was back in the Tottenham side for their first Champions League game against Inter Milan on Tuesday. Spurs conceded two very late goals to lose the game 2-1 at the San Siro.

Chris Mepham got his usual 90 minutes for Brentford in their 1-1 draw against Ipswich. He came up against Ellis Harrison, who was brought off at half time and Gwion Edwards was brought on for the second 45.

Lee Evans bagged another assist for Wigan in their 2-1 win against Hull. Evans missed out on the Wales squad this month, but delivering balls into the box like this will ensure he stays in Giggs’ plans.

Harry Wilson returned from injury to play 20 minutes for Derby in their 0-0 result against Blackburn. Tom Lawrence was suspended and Joe Ledley wasn’t in the squad.

Welsh full-backs Ash Baker and Morgan Fox both got 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat at the City Ground.

Tom Bradshaw was replaced at half time by Steve Morison in Millwall’s 2-0 loss against QPR. Millwall have only scored 7 goals in 8 games this season and sit 21st in the Championship table.

It has been a tough start to the season for young Welshman Ben Woodburn, who was unable to impact the scoreline again in Sheffield Utd’s goalless draw on Wednesday night. Sheff Utd face 23rd placed Preston on Saturday afternoon, which will hopefully provide a great opportunity for Ben to make his mark at Bramall Lane.

Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu were both left out of the Arsenal and Chelsea squads for their Europa League ties on Thursday evening.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive all of the latest updates.

Read more:
• Cardiff suffer defeat for the third time this season: Video analysis
• Club football restarts: Welsh player updates 
• Denmark 2-0 Wales: Video analysis 
• Wales 4-1 Rep. of Ireland: Video analysis of the four Welsh goals 
• Are we witnessing the birth of another ‘golden generation’? 

Club football restarts: Welsh player updates

Marley Watkins scored for the second time in as many games on Saturday. After coming on as a substitute in the 62nd minute, he went on to score the winning goal in Bristol City’s 1-0 win against Sheffield United. Ben Woodburn was an unused sub in the same match.

David Brooks continued his good form for Bournemouth in their 4-2 win over Leicester City on Saturday, and his performance earned him high praise from the home fans. He left the pitch just after an hour when Bournemouth were 3-0 ahead.

No goal for Gareth Bale this weekend for the first time in 8 La Liga games, however he did manage to whip in an excellent ball for Isco to finish.

Cardiff took a 4-1 loss against Chelsea on the weekend and Jazz Richards made his first Premier League appearance of the season, coming on for an injured Harry Arter at half time. Richards played predominantly in midfield, switching between playing centrally and out wide on the right, but couldn’t impact the game.

Wayne Hennessey got his second clean sheet of the season for Crystal Palace in a 1-0 win over Huddersfield. Other Welsh goalkeepers, Danny Ward and Chris Maxwell still can’t get league game time for their clubs. Adam Davies remains in goal for Barnsley, who lost 1-0 against Coventry.

Aaron Ramsey made headlines this weekend, but not for anything performance based in Arsenal’s 2-1 win. Arsenal manager, Unai Emery criticised the Welsh team for playing Ramsey for 90 minutes in both Nations League games. Paul Dummett played the full match for Newcastle in the same fixture.

Christian Doidge made his Championship debut for Bolton on Saturday and was handed the no.9 shirt. He didn’t impact the scoreline in his first 90 minutes following a deadline day move from League Two club, Forest Green Rovers. Tyler Roberts also made his Championship debut on Saturday for Leeds after winning his first two senior Welsh caps for the national team last week. Leeds drew 1-1 against a Millwall side that included Tom Bradshaw, who came on after 70 minutes to replace Steve Morison.

Welsh Championship defenders are now of huge popularity and competency. Chris Mepham has been the outstanding performer so far and kept another clean sheet for Brentford in their 2-0 win, taking them to second place. Villa pairing, James Chester and Neil Taylor played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn. Ashley Williams remains on the bench for Stoke.

Swansea had three Welsh players in their back four that kept a clean sheet against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon were the two regular names and Declan John made his first league start for the club, after moving from Rangers in the summer.

Matt Smith kept his place in the FC Twente team in a 2-0 win, following his first Welsh senior cap on Thursday last week.

And finally, it was a really bad day at the office for the Welsh contingent at Derby. Tom Lawrence was sent off in the second half, Joe Ledley was an unused sub and Harry Wilson didn’t make the match day 18.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive all of the latest updates.

Read more:
• Denmark 2-0 Wales: Video analysis
• Wales 4-1 Rep. of Ireland: Video analysis of the four Welsh goals 
• Are we witnessing the birth of another ‘golden generation’? 
• James Chester: “I think this is a time that’s only going to be exciting” 

Rep. of Ireland pre-match press conference with Ryan Giggs & Ashley Williams

I attended the pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of the game against the Rep of Ireland. Ryan Giggs and Ashley Williams answered questions on tomorrow evening’s match, the upcoming Denmark game on Sunday, playing in Cardiff again and more.

Continue reading “Rep. of Ireland pre-match press conference with Ryan Giggs & Ashley Williams”

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