|CHAIRBOYS SNATCH WELSH WIZZARD
(Tuesday 16th October 2001)
Swansea City winger Stuart Roberts will sign for Wycombe on Friday in a £100,000 deal subject to medical the previous day. The 21 year old Welshman travelled to Adams Park on Tuesday morning (15th October) for talks with Lawrie Sanchez and agreed terms on a three year deal without too many problems.
A delighted Sanchez announced the news at the Club's AGM on Tuesday evening. He said "He's one for the future and one that will grow with the team. He'll give us a bit of pace and bit of width. I'm very pleased for him to be joining us and the lad is pleased too. He is a young lad but over the course of time I'm sure he'll do a job for us."
Wycombe had been tracking the former Welsh Under 21 International since the end of last season but lost interest when he went on trial to Rotherham United. That deal eventually fell through when The Millers refused to meet The Swans £250,000 valuation. However, the recent financial crisis at The Vetch has worked in Wycombe's favour to grab the 5'6" Llanelli born player.
Roberts, a former trainee at Swansea, was on a week to week contract with the Welsh club and hadn't been offered a new deal. However, despite all the transfer talk, Roberts was still insistent that he was staying put at The Vetch. Speaking after last Saturday's game at Southend, Roberts said, "For me to leave now while the club is in this state would be a big shame. I'm a local boy and I've got a love for the club,". Roberts scored his fifth goal of the season in the game at Roots Hall and at the final whistle he ran to the Swans fans and threw his shirt into the crowd before walking away draped in a Welsh flag. It proved to be his farewell jesture.
Roberts made just over 100 apps for Swansea, scoring 14 times. He made his debut as an 18 year old when he came on as substitute in a League Cup tie with Norwich City ni August 1998. It was the start of a long run in the First Team that culminated in disappointment at the end of the season when he was on losing side in a play-off semi-final with Scunthorpe United. The following season was injury affected. An ankle injury and suspected virus saw just 11 league apps during The Swans promotion campaign. However, the 2000/2001 season saw the youngster establish himself in the side again and begin to get on the scoresheet. The season ended in more disappointment when The Swans were relegated but a fine run of form in the current campaign has brought his name to the top of the wanted list and Sanchez has now given him the chance to shine in his ever developing team at Adams Park.
As part of the deal, Wycombe will pay the Swans an additional fee of £50,000 should Wanderers clinch promotion this season. Plus there is a sell on clause should the player move again.
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