The Rise of Connor Roberts: From Neath to the Premier League


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From three unsuccessful loan spells to playing in the Premier League and scoring for Wales in the European Championships, this is the short story of Connor Roberts’ rise to playing in Europe’s elite league.

Roberts, born in Neath, Wales has enjoyed over 150 league appearances and 34 caps for his country in his career so far, seeing him go through three loan spells with Yeovil Town, Bristol Rovers and Middlesbrough before returning to Swansea City and being named Player of the Year for the 2020/21 season.

He more recently starred in Wales’s successful 2020 Euro campaign which saw them finish second in a tough group amongst later champions Italy and Switzerland who knocked out current World Cup holders France.

Roberts scored the second goal in the 2-0 win over Turkey and assisted Bale, proving he could do it on the international stage in the hardest tournaments.

He got his move in the summer to join Premier League side, Burnley, in a deal worth somewhere in the region of £2.5 million. Since then, he struggled to make his mark in the first half of the season only starting in one game, partly due to an unfortunate groin injury he suffered during Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign.

The talented right-back was reported to have fallen ill and taken to hospital some time from early to mid-December, however, it was confirmed that it was not from COVID-19.

Despite these setbacks, Roberts has shined in Burnley’s recent improved league form starting in the last five Premier League games and cementing his place at right-back. Burnley have picked up an important six points from these fixtures and only lost once to title challengers Liverpool.

Roberts was one of the stars of the show in Burnley’s most recent game against Brighton & Hove Albion in which he assisted Wout Weghorst’s brilliant first goal for the Clarets as the Lancashire side got their first away win of the season in a wonderful 3-0 victory.

The full-back along with Burnley boss Sean Dyche are left with one of their toughest challenges to date, keeping Burnley in the Premier League in one of the most competitive seasons since the Premier League was formed in 1992.

Burnley, renowned for having the lowest budget in the league each year, will not be concerned by their position having been tipped for relegation almost every year since they gained promotion in the 2015/16 season.

However, these next few months will be crucial in determining whether they can reach a seventh successive season in the top flight and if Connor Roberts’ first season in the Premier League will end in the despair of relegation or the elation of survival.

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