By 90Min
January 31, 2018

Swansea City's latest hero, Sam Clucas, will still be on cloud nine following his brace in an incredible 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Tuesday night - a result which lifted the Swans off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone. 

However, his latest triumph only makes Clucas' unique story even better to tell, following a career of doors being slammed in his face.

Even in South Wales, Clucas hasn't had it easy. Under Paul Clement the 27-year-old struggled for form and game time, and after arriving in the summer with a hefty price tag, fans have been all too happy to climb on his back.

But since Carlos Carvalhal's arrival, things have changed. Clucas looks a different man. Someone worthy of the fee paid in August; and 2018 seems to have given him another step to add to a staircase of incredible anecdotes on a tricky path to stardom.

As a teenager, Clucas was paying to play for Nettleham in the Lincolnshire senior leagues -11th tier football that only consists of players staying in the sport for the love of the game.

“I had to drive to games and training, helping out to keep things going as you do at that level of the game." Tells Clucas, via Yahoo Sport. "You wouldn’t even ask about expenses – it cost me a bit in the end! But that’s a part of my journey, I’ve come a long way and I’m proud of that.”

“I think playing in the Lincolnshire League as a teenager gave me a grounding. If you get life put on a plate for you early on, you’re getting big money and nice things, then you take your foot off the gas and think you’ve made it."

Since then, South Wales' man of the moment has graduated Glen Hoddle's football academy, been turned down by Christ Sutton for being 'too small', and scapegoated by Hereford fans for a poor season - but versatile left footer remembers his roots, and is proud of where he's come from; recognising that without those stumbling blocks, he wouldn't be the player he is today.

Michael Steele/GettyImages

“Hereford really helped me. Mansfield were also fantastic when I got the move and Chesterfield really helped set me on my way. I’m grateful to everyone.”

“The last few years I have gone up a level every season – I’ve gone from the Conference to League Two, League Two to League One and in the summer on 2016 from League One to the Championship,”

Sam Clucas makes Jamie Vardy look like a pampered little prince

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