One to Watch - Nathan Dyer
Swansea City winger Nathan Dyer is the One to Watch ahead of this weekend's clash with Swansea City.
Name: Nathan Antone Jonah Dyer
Date of Birth: 29-11-1987 (Trowbridge)
Former Clubs: Southampton, Burnley (L), Sheffield United (L)
Appearances (Goals): 133 (10)
Pacey winger Nathan Dyer started life on the south coast with Southampton, coming up through an exciting academy side at St Mary's. Indeed they narrowly lost out to Ipswich Town in the FA Youth Cup Final in 2005.
Dyer made his first appearance for Saints just months later with the youthful side triumphant over Southend United in the League Cup. Dyer excelled on debut and grabbed his first goal for the club at Roots Hall.
He was sent out on loan to fellow Championship side Burnley in order to gain some first team experience and goals against Millwall and Crewe Alexandra prompted new boss George Burley to allow him to return for action at St Mary's.
Dyer started a clash against QPR at Loftus Road but was substituted at half time with Ricardo Fuller taking his place. QPR went on to win the game 1-0 with a spot kick courtesy of Richard Langley in Theo Walcott's final appearance for the Saints.
Southampton ended up finishing a disappointing 12th in the Championship in their first season since relegation from the top flight. In a season of transition Burley was given time to bed into his new role, but there would have to be an improvement the following season.
21 appearances ensued for Dyer the following season as the Saints attained a sixth placed finish, he scored once in a thumping 5-2 League Cup victory over Yeovil Town before seeing former Saint Dexter Blackstock score for QPR in a 2-1 home defeat.
The season culminated with Southampton taking on Derby County in the Championship playoffs. In a pulsating affair, former QPR loanee Iñigo Idiakez missing the crucial spot-kick as the Rams beat West Bromwich Albion went on to be promoted in the final.
2007-08 saw spirits raised and dashed at St Mary's as Southampton plummeted towards the relegation zone, with boss George Burley leaving to take charge of Scotland. John Gorman and Jason Dodd's brief period in charge yielded little positivity as Nigel Pearson was charged with the run-in.
Dyer featured in a 3-0 victory for Saints at Loftus Road, with QPR still mourning the recent death of striker Ray Jones. A brace from Polish forward Grzegorz Rasiak and a strike from Bradley Wright-Phillips condemned the R's to a resounding defeat.
The winger scored once in 18 games as Pearson's men narrowly escaped the drop on a dramatic final day. Leicester City were the side that dropped with Stoke City beating the Foxes and gaining promotion in the process.
Pearson was not retained as boss, instead Southampton opted to appoint Dutch boss Jan Poortvliet. He was given more of a go in the Saints' side featuring in QPR's thumping home win (4-1) courtesy of a brace from former colleague Dexter Blackstock.
With finances tight on the south coast Dyer was loaned out to Sheffield United and a string of good displays saw him score once in seven games for the Blades - the opener in a 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace.
It wasn't long before Dyer was on the move once more, this time to Swansea City, a place where he soon became an instant hit with supporters. He scored his first goal for the Swans as they knocked Portsmouth, the holders, out of the FA Cup.
He endeared himself further to the Swans faithful by bagging a goal against arch-rivals Cardiff City in one of the final few games at Ninian Park. In 21 games for Swansea that season he scored three goals, prompting the hierarchy to sanction a £400,000 deal to take him to the Liberty Stadium.
Under new boss Paulo Sousa Dyer has featured in 34 games this season for the Swans scoring one goal. He has always proved formidable opposition against Rangers and will look to give Matt Hill food for thought this weekend.
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