Swansea City sign Aldershot midfielder Scott Donnelly
Scott Donnelly made his league debut for QPR aged 16 in 2004
Paulo Sousa has made his first Swansea City signing of the summer with the capture of 22-year-old Aldershot midfielder Scott Donnelly.
Donnelly, who scored 14 goals for League Two side Aldershot last season, was out of contract at the Shots.
Swansea are negotiating a compensation deal with Aldershot as he is under 24.
"I'm absolutely delighted... going from League Two to Championship is a massive step but one I feel I'm capable of making," Donnelly said.
Donnelly, who will help fill the midfield gap left by the departed Leon Britton, is to complete his medical with the Championship club this week.
Swans boss Sousa has been seeking to reinforce midfield as Darren Pratley could follow Britton out of the Liberty Stadium, as the pivotal player has been heavily linked with a £1.5m move to Nottingham Forest.
Wales midfielder Joe Allen will also miss the start of the new season after undergoing shoulder surgery, while the Swans will be without Ferrie Bodde.
The influential Dutch playmaker has had more surgery in a bid to cure the serious injury to his left knee.
Donnelly, who scored 14 times last season in an attacking central midfield role but had turned down a new contract with Aldershot, looked to be heading for a move to Wycombe Wanderers until Swansea came calling.
"There were a couple of offers that, to be honest, we were really close to agreeing," said Donnelly, who revealed that Swansea were the only Championship club to come in for him, with the others from Leagues One and Two.
"But when we got the Swansea 'phone call Swansea went straight to the top of the list without a doubt and was clear favourite.
"I didn't quite believe my agent, I thought he was pulling my leg a little bit, but I'm delighted.
"Swansea are a top Championship club with a top manager. And, from what I've seen, they play some of the best football outside the Premier League.
"I believe I am capable of doing well in the Championship and I'm really looking forward to the challenge.
"I like to get on the ball and make things happen. Hopefully I can make things happen for Swansea City next season.''
The former England Under-17 international was subject of an unsuccessful bid in January, believed to be from relegated League One side Wycombe.
He then rejected a new and improved contract offer from Aldershot in February and Shots manager Kevin Dillon confirmed last week he was leaving the club after three years, although the player has left on good terms.
"I'm really pleased for Scotty," Dillon said. "He goes with a pat on the back and the club he's going to is great.
"Some people will be surprised where he's going but he deserves it and it will improve his career."
Donnelly came through the youth set-up at Queens Park Rangers and made his senior debut as a 16-year-old in October 2004.
He signed his his first professional contract in February 2006 only to struggle with injury and form and was released a year later to join non-League Wealdstone, from where he joined Aldershot in November 2007.
Donnelly scored two landmark goals for the Shots, as his leveller in a 1-1 draw with Exeter City secured them promotion to the Football League, while he also scored their winner against Accrington Stanley in Aldershot's first game back in the League.
Donnelly, who signed for Aldershot from non-League side Wealdstone in 2007, is a 5ft 8in ball-player in a similar mould to Britton, who left earlier this month after eight years at Swansea.
But there could be a huge reliance on the youngster if Pratley, Allen and Bodde are not in Swansea's team at the start of the season.
Sousa will be hoping to build on Swansea's seventh-place finish of last season - their best League finish for 26 years - but that could be difficult with an entirely new and untested midfield engine room.
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