Speaking in an exclusive interview with L’Équipe, Swansea’s left-sided player Franck Tabanou hit back at the Premier League side for the lack of playing time he has received, after arriving back at St Étienne today to complete a loan deal until the end of the season. In full.
Is it difficult to leave a club after only 6 months of joining it?
Honestly, yes. I left for Swansea to move to the next level, to dip my toes into the Premier League and why not, go even higher after that. Sadly, things did not go as I wanted. I was not given a chance.
How do you explain the fact that Swansea spent €5m for you in the summer yet they have not played you at all?
I do not understand it. And I think that, if I had stayed, my situation would not have developed. The club is in a difficult situation and, despite that, I still was not played.
Did you not look for explanations?
At the start, I was told that it was about their way of defending. Me, I play more with my head in terms of positioning and all that. For them, it is about attacking, which leaves quite a bit of space. Tactically, they are not the best. You have your player [to mark], it will be a fight until the last minute. That is not the way I play.
Are you not also responsible?
One can always do better. I could have maybe made more of an effort but I was also waiting for some effort on their part. What I regret, is that I did not get my chance. If it had been in a scenario where I was bad and I was taken out of the team, then ok. But here, it was not even that. I have been hardened…
You also had options in Italy and Spain. Why did you decide to come back to St Étienne?
My idea, was to enjoy myself again. So, I thought I would do that somewhere that I know. Here, there will be not time for adapting.
To come back to St Étienne, is that not a regression for you?
A regression is when you play somewhere and you have failed. For me, that has not been the case. Here, I know that I will enjoy myself. Josh [Guilavogui] also came back and, today, he is doing well at Wolfsburg. The same for Trech [Tremoulinas] who was part of the reserves for the last World Cup. Here, everything is in place to succeed.
In what type of physical condition are you in?
Nothing can replace the rhythm that we get during matches, but I have still worked over there. I will see what my programme will be with the coach. I hope to be ready as quickly as possible. I need to play to be happy.