With exactly a month until the transfer window closes, Vincent Ralph takes a closer look at the Swans’ summer business to date:
Swansea City – the side you can’t help but like (unless you’re a Cardiff fan) due to their footballing ethos and remarkable journey. And after two outstanding seasons in the top flight, their transfer business to date suggests that will soon be three. Securing Jonathan de Guzman for a second year is crucial, as is the free signing of Jose Canas, a player who won’t generate headlines but will be a catalyst for plenty of success.
In short, the Swans summer signings have been as astute as you would expect from Michael Laudrup, and here we take a look at who he has bought, who may follow, and the regrets and lucky escapes of the transfer window to date.
Defenders: Jernade Meade (loan), Jordi Amat (£2.5million)
Midfielders: Jose Canas (free), Jonathan de Guzman (loan), Alejandro Pozuelo (undisclosed), Jonjo Shelvey (£6million)
Strikers: Wilfried Bony (£12million)
While the exact amount is not known, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins spoke of “substantial funds” back in June. At that time Laudrup was said to be frustrated at the lack of business, with only the free transfer of Jose Canas confirmed for 1 July. But since then the great Dane has splashed the cash on some impressive arrivals – not least the prolific Wilfried Bony.
Much depends on summer departures, but if no one leaves the Liberty Stadium, the Swans look in good shape for another impressive season. However, with the demands of Europe likely to take their toll on a small squad, it is no surprise Laudrup is seeking a new striker to compete with Bony and Michu.
“If nothing more happens, and by happens I mean if none of the regulars leave the squad, then I think maybe only one player would be enough,” Laudrup said last weekend.
But it will be interesting how the manager treats the Europa League in light of the travails of other clubs of similar stature in the past.
If only and what if:
In early July, Swansea were linked with a move for Jordan Rhodes. They weren’t the first club and they won’t be the last, because the Blackburn Rovers striker is one of the most sought-after players in the Championship. Perhaps Rhodes is the “one player” Laudrup is referring to, but the Scotland international has no intention of leaving Ewood Park.
“For as long as I’m welcome, you’re stuck with me,” is what Rhodes said to his current team in light of the speculation. And given Rovers’ reliance on the 23-year-old, they would be beyond foolish to cash-in whatever the price.
And yet in this case the if only is also the what if…because Venky’s will make the final decision, and they have shown their history of decision-making is, well, you can fill in the blank…
Thank God it didn’t happen:
For a time earlier this summer, it appeared Ashley Williams was set for a summer departure, with both Arsenal and Liverpool reportedly keen on the centre-back. And yet the new club captain now seems likely to remain at the Liberty Stadium for at least another season.
With a month until the transfer window closes, Swans fans will hope his admirers remain distant ones. Having secured the signings Laudrup desired – and doing so without breaking the bank – there is no reason for Williams to be sold regardless of the offer.
What to expect from the next month:
There will be much chewing of fingernails with every new report linking Williams with the Emirates…and there will be a few. But should they keep hold of him, expect Laudrup to be true to his word and bring in just one more player.
Having seemingly ruled out any more moves for La Liga-based players, that final piece of the jigsaw is likely to have a different passport to many of his teammates.
A loan move may be the most likely option…and how is this for a left-field suggestion: a return to the Liberty for Scott Sinclair? A man who realised, all too soon, that what he learned in his time at Chelsea was no less true having left the Swans for Manchester City last summer.
Transfer rating with a month to go:
8 out of 10
Are you impressed with Swansea's early business? And who would you still like to see come in?
image: © swans100