Who is: Neil Taylor

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Football News

A number of top Premier League clubs are being linked with a move for Swansea City defender Neil Taylor.

The 23-year-old full-back was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United last summer, and in January was thought to be on the radar of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

However, the Welshman opted to stay at the Liberty Stadium, a shrewd move given the fantastic season Taylor enjoyed under Brendan Rodgers in Wales.

The manager’s departure to Liverpool has raised fresh questions over the future of a number of top players though, with Sky Sports claiming Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs are all interested in adding the player to their ranks.

So what do we know about the Team GB star, who has enjoyed a rapid rise to success with the Swans?

Taylor began his career at Manchester City, but left the Citizens in 2005 to join the Wrexham youth setup. After signing professional terms with the Dragons, he made his debut two-years later and would stay at the Racecourse Ground until 2010.

A free transfer to Swansea City followed, with a £150,000 compensation fee proving to be shrewd business. Taylor had already won one cap for Wales, and now has nine to his name since the move.

His first season with the Swans proved hugely successful, helping the club secure promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, despite getting sent-off after 53 seconds of the semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest.

After rejecting the Magpies in favour of a contract extension in his homeland, Taylor went on to flourish in the English top flight, making 36 appearances out of a possible 38.

Whether Michael Laudrup will be able to keep one of his top players on the books if a big club comes calling is up for debate, with two of the aforementioned parties able to offer Taylor Champions League football.

Manchester United are relatively week in the full-back position, with centre backs Phil Jones and Chris Smalling often filling in on the right hand side.

Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic and Paulo Ferreira at their disposal in the right back position at Stamford Bridge, whilst Kyle Walker would take some displacing at Tottenham Hotspur.

With plenty of possible permutations, Taylor’s future could well be up for debate at the end of the Olympics, with clubs well placed to make a move before the end of this summer’s transfer window.

It all means that the future’s very exciting for this rapidly rising Welsh star.

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