Israeli international Itay Shechter is set to make his Swansea City debut against FC Stuttgart at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
Although the paperwork on the striker’s one-year loan move from Kaiserslautern has yet to be finalised, the Bundesliga club has given the Swans permission to play him in the pre-season friendly.
The 25-year-old has also had his work permit granted by the Home Office today and the club is just waiting for Kaiserslautern to complete the formalities over the next few days.
“I’m very happy,’’ declared Shechter, who can play anywhere up front or in behind the central striker. “It will be a dream to play in the Premier League because it is the best in the world.
“The manager (Michael Laudrup) was also a big draw for me. Growing up watching him play was unbelievable. For me he was the top player in the world playing at the best clubs, like Real Madrid and Barcelona, where he was also a champion.
“I’m looking forward to working with him and playing for Swansea. I’ve only been here for two or three days, but I already have a good feeling about the club. It’s a family club and everybody has been so warm and friendly to me.
“I watched Swansea a few times on TV last season and I liked their style. There is a big Spanish influence with their style of play which I think will suit me. I’m not the tallest of players, so anything on the grass is good for me.’’
Shechter, who was at the Liberty in midweek to watch the Swans beat Blackpool 4-2 in a friendly, started his career in Israel with the Hapoel Haifa youth team where he won the Israeli Youth Cup at just 13.
His senior career started at Hapoel Nazareth Illit in the Israeli Premier League before stepping up to join Maccabi Netanya where he stayed for three years, leaving to join Hapoel Tel Aviv for $500,000.
He joined FC Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga in July 2011, but opted to look for a new challenge when they were relegated from the top flight.
“If I’m honest, last season wasn’t a good one for me because we were relegated and I didn’t play as much as I would have liked,’’ added Shechter. “I spent a lot of time on the bench.
“But I have confidence in my ability and I want to do well at Swansea. I know I will have to work my way into the team, but it’s about the club and not me.
“The club did very well in their first season in the Premier League. The second one is always more difficult, but I hope I can still help make it a better one.’’
Capped by Israel at Youth and Under-21 level, he has also made 13 appearances for the senior team.