Garry Monk: Franck Tabanou needs to be patient
Published 23/10/2015 | 10:06
Swansea manager Garry Monk admits he was surprised by Franck Tabanou's physical condition when he arrived at the club last summer and says the France Under-21 international has been playing catch-up ever since.
Tabanou joined Swansea from St Etienne in a £3.5million deal in June and had been expected to push Wales international Neil Taylor for a first-team spot at left-back.
But Tabanou has yet to play a single minute in the Barclays Premier League and spoke of his frustration in French newspaper L'Equipe this week, asking why Swansea had bought him in the first place and saying he would consider his future ahead of the January transfer window.
"I have never been used to this. The hardest thing, is to see that there is not even competition. I am not even in the squad," Tabanou was quoted as saying in L'Equipe.
"I cannot stay like this. If this continues, we will make a decision in December. But, me, I am just asking for my chance."
In the interview, however, Tabanou, who said he told his agent to ignore interest from Dynamo Kiev, Sevilla and other clubs because his preference was to join Swansea, admitted he was "not cutting it" at training when he first moved to Wales and "he was under what was required" physically.
Tabanou said his fitness results were now "one of the best" at Swansea but Monk feels the 26-year-old has to show patience for a first-team opportunity.
"When Franck came to the club I was surprised to see he wasn't at the level of others in certain elements," Monk said.
"I told him that and a lot of the staff and myself have worked with Franck to get him up to the level of what is needed and required to play in this team.
"Unfortunately for him, in the period it's taken him to get to that level players in his position are already there and playing games, so they're ahead of him.
"Look at Tayls (Taylor). He came in flying straight away in pre-season and he's ahead of Franck.
"So it's for Franck to fight hard and wait for his opportunity."
Tabanou's two Swansea appearances to date have come in Capital One Cup ties against lower-league opposition and he has rarely made the matchday squad for Premier League games.
But Monk said he was disappointed that Tabanou had spoken publicly about his frustration in the French media.
"These situations are very common now and I look at them as a player being very poorly advised," Monk said.
"It's disappointing to hear those type of things and it doesn't benefit the player in anyway shape or form.
"Your job as a professional footballer is to get your head down and do everything you can for the manager to pick you.
"That means working harder than any other player in your position, less talking and more action.
"That's the way it should be as a professional footballer and it amazes me that players talk in the newspapers.
"It's not clever and it makes me think that the player is ill-advised and should have a look at himself."
However, Monk says that Tabanou, who signed a three-year contract last summer, will not be leaving Swansea in the January transfer window.
"I brought Franck to the club because potentially I think he's a great talent," Monk said.
"He's working hard and I'm happy with him.
"What he needs to realise is he has to work as hard as you can and give the manager no excuse whatsoever.
"That's his job, but at this moment Neil's not giving the shirt up."