Swansea's George Byers explains Portsmouth transfer delay involving Wolves, Aston Villa and Bristol City midfielders

George Byers admitted he had to hold his nerve as he waited for the green light to join Pompey.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 6:00 am

The midfielder was identified as a Blues target in December ahead of the transfer window opening the following month.

However, it wasn’t until the fourth week into January when Byers completed his loan move to Fratton Park.

Despite being out of favour at the Swans, and having held talks with head coach Steve Cooper about departing, he was kept around several weeks longer than expected in south Wales.

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George Byers in action on Pompey debut. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Championship outfit suffered blows when Morgan Gibbs-White and Kasey Palmer were recalled by their respective parent clubs Wolves and Bristol City.

Byers, therefore, was needed as cover on the bench before Swansea recruited Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane.

That then allowed the former Scotland youth international’s switch to the south coast to be rubber-stamped.

And although Byers did have some worries Pompey might look elsewhere, he was delighted to get the deal done.

He said: ‘It was a bit frustrating for me because players got recalled from their loans by their parent clubs from Swansea.

‘As a result, I had to stay around and ultimately wait until players got brought in.

‘Being in that unknown situation is very frustrating but when it all got sorted, you just forget about that.

‘There was a bit of a relief to finally get it done.

‘There was always that feeling (Pompey might look elsewhere) but I couldn't control anything.

I can only control what happens with me, so I was patiently waiting, keeping fit and making sure I was doing the extras.

‘The move finally happened, which I was buzzing about.’

Byers was a regular for Swansea last season as their bid for the Premier League fell short in the play-offs. In total, he featured 39 times, scoring five goals.

However, Byers missed the first half of this season after undergoing groin surgery, with his comeback game in an FA Cup win against Stevenage earlier in the month.

Following his move to Pompey, the ex-Watford man made his debut off the bench in Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss to Lincoln.

Byers insists he’s feeling fully fit and over his long-term setbacks.

Now he's determined to play a key role in the Blues’ League One promotion push.

‘After lockdown, I got a tear on the cartilage on my pubis,’ added Byers.

‘I played through it for two or three months because I didn't know what the extend on the injury was.

‘I kept breaking down and then at the end of the season, I went to see a specialist. He ultimately told me I needed double groin surgery to make sure I get better.

‘But I am fit and firing now. I'm feeling good, ready to go and to play football.

‘I've been training for quite a while. I've played a couple of games for Swansea's under-23s and then played 90 minutes against Stevenage. I felt really good.

‘From then onwards, I was on the bench for Swansea in the Championship. Getting back to that consistent game feeling will be good for me.’

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