De Vries was 'maybe wrong' to leave Swans - Angel Rangel.
ONE player left Swansea City, another stayed.
It's not hard to see who made the right decision. Ten months later the two players in question, Angel Rangel and Dorus de Vries, are set to line up against each other for the first time and the contrast in their fortunes could not be greater.
Spanish defender Rangel, who chose to sign a new three-year deal with Swansea rather than leave on a free transfer last summer, will make his 33rd appearance in the Premier League on Saturday.
While Dutch goalkeeper de Vries, who turned down a new deal in favour of a lucrative move to Wolves, will be playing only his second top flight game. And with relegation already confirmed for Terry Connor's hapless side, a return to the club where he spent four years could not have come at a more ironic time for De Vries.
His comments that "while Swansea will hope to maintain their Premier League status, Wolves will expect to survive" when he signed for the Midlands club will ensure a frosty reception on his return to South Wales.
Not that he'll get much sympathy from the Swansea faithful, despite his heroics during four excellent years at the Liberty Stadium.
De Vries may have broken the club's clean sheet record and played a huge part in their promotion to the Premier League but his decision to leave did not go down well in Swansea.
"It is all about individual situations," said Rangel diplomatically.
"Sometimes you feel a bit old at a club when you have been there for four years.
"You want a new challenge and maybe that was how Dorus felt.
"Maybe it was the wrong decision but only he knows if he is happy with it.
"It shows that Swansea may not be the richest club in the Premier League but the football we play is great.
"Everyone enjoys it and you can see from other players like Leon, who left and came back, that it is not always the sensible decision to leave.
"Ever since I came here five years ago I have enjoyed every minute. We have had plenty of success and now we are in the Premier League, it's great.
"If I was in the same situation I would not want to leave. I am sure I want to stay at Swansea because I am enjoying my football and my life and I could not ask for any more."
Former Den Haag stopper De Vries has had to play understudy to Wales star Wayne Hennessey for the majority of the season, with only a few cup appearances to his name.
But Hennessey's cruciate knee ligament injury picked up at the beginning of the month handed De Vries his long-awaited Premier League debut against Manchester City on Sunday.
The 2-0 defeat confirmed Wolves' relegation to the Championship and, although De Vries performed admirably, his future at the club must now be in question as they look to keep a Premier League-sized club going on a Championship budget. It is understood De Vries left Swansea for a wage upwards of pounds 20,000 a week and, with concerns about a relegation clause believed to be among the reasons he left the Swans, it is fair to assume his Wolves contract does not include the same stipulation.
Whatever his future holds, De Vries was well liked among the Swansea squad and is likely to be warmly welcomed back to the Liberty.
Rangel added: "I'm glad for him (to be playing). He was great for us for four seasons.
"I have been a bit disappointed for him because I think he has deserved to play more, he is a very good goalkeeper.
"He is getting a chance a bit late but he has four games to prove himself and I am sure he will do well.
"He was our 11th player on the ball, just like Michel (Vorm) is now, he was a big part of how we play the ball out of the back.
"He was a fantastic goalkeeper as well and he achieved a lot of things at Swansea."
* Swansea City defender Angel Rangel PICTURE: Huw Evans Agency
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Apr 25, 2012|
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