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Oct 25, 2012

Laudrup praises Routledge transformation

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has praised Wayne Routledge for the way in which he has transformed his career since arriving at the Liberty Stadium.

• Blog: Swans spread their wings

Before moving to South Wales last summer, Routledge, 27, had gained a reputation as a journeyman, having already played for a total of eight different clubs.

However, the former Newcastle man played a part last season in helping establish newly-promoted Swansea as a Premiership club, while this term he has already hit two league goals - only Michu has scored more for the Swans.

And since taking over the reins as manager in the summer, Laudrup has been impressed by what he has seen of the winger, choosing to start him in every league game so far.

"When I came here I did not know a lot about Wayne, but when I talk to people, they say he is doing great," Laudrup said.

"We give him the confidence and I think that is important for every player, he knows even if he is not playing that well he will not lose his position in the squad, because he will always be part of the three wingers we have.

"For a player like Wayne, who has not been a regular starter for a long time, I think it is even more important.

"I heard when I arrived that he had played 100 games and scored one goal and he has already doubled that this season.

"He has good vision, he is very fast, and he can change speed and direction so quickly and defenders don't like that."

Meanwhile, Routledge has revealed he wants to commit his long-term future to the club.

There are currently 18 months left to run on his contract but the former England Under-21 international is enjoying life and would be more than happy to extend his stay.

"Hopefully I can stay at Swansea for longer than my current contract as I'm enjoying playing football for the club," Routledge told The Sun.

"I get on really well with the boys, the staff and everyone in the city."

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