Ex-Watford Under-21 captain lands Premier League move

Released Watford Under-21 captain George Byers has vowed to “prove a few people wrong” after it was announced this evening he has joined Swansea City.

Byers was one of eight members of Harry Kewell’s team who were let go this summer, joining Bernard Mensah, Josh Doherty, Alife Young, Jorell Johnson, Luke Simpson, Mahlondo Martin and Matt Hall in leaving the club they joined as schoolboys. Uche Ikpeazu was also let go.

Picture by Sean Hinks
Picture by Sean Hinks

However, Byers has landed on his feet, joining the Swans who are renowned for their smooth-passing style, which will suit the ball-playing midfielder who was told he was surplus to requirements at Vicarage Road by academy chief Chris McGuane and under-21 manager Harry Kewell.

“Can’t wait to get started and prove a few people wrong,” wrote Byers on his Instagram account.

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Byers, 20, is the third of the released players to land a contract elsewhere, following on from Doherty joining Leyton Orient and Mensah signing for Aldershot. Young has been training at Newport while Connor Smith, who was released midway through the season, has signed for Plymouth after helping to get AFC Wimbledon promoted.

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“It is a great opportunity for me, one which I am relishing. I can’t wait to get started,” said Byers who almost joined Lokomotic Moscow in February after an impressive showing at the Nagjee Cup. “I have come to a point in my career where I needed a change. I was at Watford for 13 years, now I am looking for that next step. Swansea’s style of play was a big factor for me signing. Creativity is a big part of my game, I like to create chances but also do the hard work and battle in midfield to win the ball. There will be a lot of hard work for me from this point, I want to prove myself to people here and I am looking forward to getting started.”