One to Watch - Andrea Orlandi
Swansea midfielder Andrea Orlandi has been identified by Vital QPR as the One to Watch as the Rs welcome fourth placed Swansea to Loftus Road on Boxing Day.
Name: Andrea Orlandi
Date of Birth: 3/8/84
Previous Clubs: Deportive Alaves, Barcelona B, Barcelona
Appearances (Goals): 181 (15)
Highly rated Swansea midfielder Andrea Orlandi has been a prominent figure in Swansea's climb up the table and will be out to dent QPR's promotion push on Sunday. The Spaniard is held in high regard at the Welsh club and the Rs will have to keep an eye out for the tricky left sided player.
Born in Catalonia, Orlandi came to be owned by Vitoria-Gasteiz based club Deportivo Alaves. From 2003-2007 the versatile player made over 50 appearances, managing to net eight goals for the second division club. His ever-increasing reputation was enhanced when he was sent on loan to Barcelona B and became well respected over his time at the Mini Estadia.
Then manager Frank Rijkaard was impressed with the 23-year-old and called him up to the first team, where he featured in the Copa Catalunya contributing a couple of assists in a Barcelona win. He made 67 appearances for the Barcelona B side and managed to score five goals.
Former Swansea boss Roberto Martinez captured Orlandi from Alaves on deadline day in 2007. He had two years left on his contract at Second Division side Alaves, but agreed a free transfer to sign a one-year deal at the Liberty Stadium with a performance related option to extend his stay. Injuries limited the midfielder's consistent performances in his early Swans career, but he has started to play a major role in the current Swansea team.
Orlandi signed a further two year contract with Swansea and having already made over 60 appearances for the Welsh club has already stated his ambition to play longer for a club that he believes plays 'attractive football'.