Finley Burns facing big Nottingham Forest audition as future at both Man City and Swansea City in limbo

The defender’s loan spell with the Swans hasn’t gone as planned so far

When it was announced that a Manchester City youth player was to join Swansea City in January, feelings of optimism and excitement were rife among fans.

Defender Finley Burns joined, signing a six-month loan deal from the reigning Premier League champions. Burns had made one senior appearance for Manchester City prior to moving to south Wales, which came in an emphatic 6-1 home drubbing of Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup last September.

Arriving at the club in late January, Burns had to wait until Bristol City visited the Stadium on February 13 to make his debut. The young centre-back played 75 minutes and made a solid start for his new team.

This was shown in Burns attaining the highest passing accuracy percentage in the match with a 95.4% rating for the young English defender. This is not entirely shocking given the high importance placed on passing style of play by his parent club, but to employ it playing in the Championship age, was a whole new feat.

Swans fans were impressed but sadly for them and Burns, the initial glowing debut was not to be a sign of things to come for the London-born player.

Burns started the following game for Swansea but succumbed to a crushing 4-0 defeat to Sheffield United. Burns managed to make three interceptions and two clearances in the match but did not feature again until the goalless draw vs Birmingham City in March, missing a run of five games after what was a dismal away day for the Jack Army.

Things got even worse as the young player was hooked at half-time against the Blues and has been left out of Swansea’s matchday squads ever since. Burns once again proved his passing ability with a high score of 96.7% but after just one tackle, the defender made way at the break for fellow former Manchester City product Joel Latibeaudiere.

Yet an opportunity presents itself for Burns this weekend due to Ben Cabango’s injury which was sustained after a challenge from former team-mate Jamal Lowe during the Swans’ 3-3 Championship draw with Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.

The injury offers a free spot for Swansea’s trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with manager Russell Martin suggesting Burns was definitely an option for the match.

Do you think Finley Burns should stay at Swansea next season? Have your say in our comments section here.

“With Fin Burns, we have to assess the guys and how they are training and who deserves to be on the bench,” he said. “You can’t foresee an injury like that [Cabango]. There’s loads that comes into it. Ultimately we put out the team that deserves to play and the team that can perform.

“Fin’s been really unlucky. He’s come in and done fine. It’s assessing if you want to use that option on the bench when we have other players who can be flexible. Flynn [Downes] has done it in the past. With Ben now being injured, it means we’ll have to change something and Fin will probably find himself back in the squad and has to be ready to play or come on if needs be.”

Looking ahead to next season, Burns will return to Manchester City in the summer but it is highly unlikely that the 18-year-old will feature in Pep Guardiola’s plans. With names like Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte on the team sheet, along with John Stones and Nathan Ake in reserve, there will be no room for the young player come the beginning of the 2022/23 campaign.

Burns may fit the bill as a ball playing centre-back, which the likes of Guardiola would demand, but Swansea will look to acquire strong and tall defenders instead this summer, following the expected departure of Ryan Bennett.

The Manchester City loanee may be able to stamp his mark before he leaves through should he be given the chance in the absence of Cabango, which may give him an opportunity to make his case for remaining at the Stadium for next season. A big audition awaits.

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