Wales' Neil Taylor asks to play for Swansea Under-23s to improve fitness

Neil Taylor
Neil Taylor played every game as Wales reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals

Neil Taylor will miss Swansea City's match at Leicester City after asking to play for the club's Under-23 side.

Having lost his place to Stephen Kingsley, Taylor wants to improve his fitness ahead of Wales' World Cup qualifier against Moldova on 5 September.

The left-back will play for Swansea's Under-23s against West Ham on Friday.

"I like that attitude because he understands now he is not ready," said Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin.

"He asked me yesterday if he could play with the Under-23s on Friday because he is a little bit behind because he came from a long tournament in the Euros.

"He rested for three weeks and now Neil is a little bit behind. He plays with the Under-23s and will then be involved with the national team. He is not 100 per cent fit - it is honest from him."

Taylor, 27, was given an extended rest following Wales' run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

On his return to Swansea, however, the former Wrexham defender has been overtaken in the pecking order by Scotland international Kingsley.

Taylor has yet to feature in the Premier League and made his first club appearance of the season in Tuesday's EFL Cup second-round win at Peterborough.

Club captain Leon Britton also played in that fixture and is set to return to Premier League action against Leicester after missing the 2-0 defeat by Hull City.

Francesco Guidolin
Francesco Guidolin has said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins is in charge of signing players

Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero is also vying for a start, but the Swans will again be without new £15m record signing Borja Baston because of injury.

Borja has yet to feature since his arrival from Atletico Madrid but is likely to play after the international break.

Oliver McBurnie, 20, scored twice on his debut against Peterborough, but Guidolin says the Scottish Under-21 international is not yet ready for the rigours of the Premier League even though he will not be loaned out.

"I think he needs to improve. But he is always with us in training and the future is for him," said Guidolin.

With the transfer window closing on Wednesday night, Guidolin reiterated his priority is to sign another centre-back, following the departure of skipper Ashley Williams to Everton.

"We need another centre-half. I am happy with my three centre-backs but the season is very long, we need another centre back," he added.

Swansea's trip to Leicester brings Guidolin face-to-face with fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri, who led the Foxes to their astonishing title success last season.

"I think Leicester could make a good season in the Premier League and a good tournament in the Champions League because the team is strong, with strong players and a very very good manager," said Guidolin.

"But it's very difficult to repeat the same result in the Premier League."

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