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Scout Report: Ryan Woods

For all the success Steve Cooper brought to the club last season, the patient, possession-based style of play the Jack army have been treated to over recent seasons was definitely sacrificed at times. It hasn't been clear whether this was because of the limited options in the squad or Steve Cooper's footballing philosophy, however, I know many Swansea fans will be hoping we can return to the free flowing style of play which saw us become an established premier league side not so long ago.

Too many times last season were the Swans caught hoofing the ball 35 yards up the pitch, in the hope that Jamal Lowe or any of our attacking players might get lucky and win the knock-down or a second ball and, whereas this often helped churn out some close, hard-fought victories during the course of the season, it never felt like a long-term solution to what was a clear lack of creativity on the ball and ability to keep possession, both problems which may well have played a significant part in our play-off final defeat to Brentford.

Ryan woods is an experienced holding midfield player who has a keen eye for a forward pass and is tenacious in his defensive play. Many Swansea City fans will be familiar with the midfielder after we were heavily linked with a move for the player at the start of the 2018/19 season. At the time, Woods was seen a player to replace the retiring Leon Britton, and if the former Shrewsbury and Brentford man could play even half as well as Leon then we'll all be laughing!

After almost 100 appearances for Shrewsbury, Woods joined a successful Brentford side and quickly became a fan-favourite there, being named Player of the Year after an impressive 2015/16 season. Woods continued his fine form at the club and landed the Supporters' Player of the Year award in the following season. The English midfielder then joined Stoke on a permanent basis in January 2019 although struggled to get a consistent run in the team. Looking for more regular first-team football, Woods joined Millwall on loan a year later during the 2019/20 January transfer window where he has since remained until his Stoke contract came to a conclusion at the end of last season.

Over the last season and a half at Millwall, Ryan woods played an integral part in the Lions' midfield, racking up 64 appearances during his time there. He is effective at keeping the ball and can also pick up that forward pass which our holding midfielders often failed to see last season. Standing at 5ft 6, the Englishman has shown he is no push over and has more than held his own in an aggressive Millwall team which many fans feel have overachieved since his arrival at the club. Ryan Woods' vast experience in the Championship would make the 27-year-old an ideal player for Swansea City to sign on a free transfer if Steve Cooper is looking to return to the possession-based style of play the fans know and love.

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