The Daily Mail is linking Arsenal and Liverpool with moves for Swansea City captain Ashley Williams.
Make no mistake about it, if Swansea City sell Ashley Williams to Arsenal or Liverpool, they will struggle to fill the gaping great hole which is left behind.
Whether you think Williams is the best quality player on the ball or not doesn’t really matter. He’s just as important to Swansea off the field as he is when he’s kicking players up in the air during match time.
There are very few players who are completely in sync with the identity and philosophy of a football club; John Terry at Chelsea? Steven Gerrard at Liverpool? Paul Scholes at Manchester United?
Williams is one of those individuals who has been with Swansea through thick and thin and endured various promotions and the odd bit of heart break with the side throughout his career.
He seems to completely get the way Michael Laudrup wants Swansea to play their football and as captain, he is in a position to demand that style from the players out on the pitch in matches and also in training.
The Daily Mail and other national newspapers are suggesting that Brendan Rodgers will test the water with an £8 million bid for Swansea which they should reject.
Arsene Wenger is also reportedly in the mix for Williams as he seems a no nonsense, bullish sort of defender who will stick up for his wide variety of talented midfield youngsters.
As a defender who gets what Swansea are trying to achieve, Williams is the very best player that the Swans could possibly hope for, and has earned the Wales captaincy for his leadership skills.
He is a little raw to watch play but he does the basics very well; he’s good in the air, he times his tackles well, he reads the game well and he is strong and quick enough to cope with slippery strikers and strikers who like to back in.
He also showed with his performance and charisma during the League Cup semi-final against Chelsea, just how valuable he is when things get a little ugly and a team tries to bully Swansea in more ways than one.
It’s naïve to suggest that Swansea wouldn’t be able to attract another decent centre back to replace Williams but it’s the whole package of him as a person and leader, which they would not be able to replace.
Do you think it would be disastrous for Swansea to let Williams leave?