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Swansea target Arsenal legend, can he emulate Laudrup as manager?

Dennis Bergkamp is one of the early names in the frame for the vacancy at the Liberty Stadium after the Dane's dismissal yesterday

Former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp is believed to be one of the names in the frame to replace Michael Laudrup as Swansea City manager, after the Dane was relieved of his duties yesterday evening.

Laudrup's dismissal came off the back of a wretched run of form since the Swans' Capital One Cup success last February which saw them pick up just eight wins from their next 35 Premier League matches.

And with media reports suggesting Bergkamp could be the man to replace Laudrup, Swans fans will be excited at the prospective replacement for a man who steered the club to an inaugural Capital One Cup triumph.

Bergkamp went down in Arsenal folklore after leading the Gunners to two Premier League doubles and is widely considered one of the club's best ever strikers for his nonchalant yet destructive manner and developed the endearing nickname 'The Non-Flying Dutchman' due to his refusal to travel on planes.

The Dutchman has tasted success with Ajax too having worked as Frank de Boer's assistant with the Eredivisie giants after working his way through the coaching ranks with the club.

Bergkamp now appears destined for a managerial stint after impressing in his role and de Godenzonen have won the championship twice in succession since his return to the Amsterdam Arena.

The opportunity to take on Swansea, a flagging but ultimately talented outfit will hold a great level of appeal to a man schooled in the art of total football when the Dutch were at their pomp, having won the 1988 European Championships thanks largely to the artistry of Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit.

The Swans are amongst the top five teams in Europe for their average possession per game but it has counted for very little with injuries to No.1 goalkeeper Michel Vorm, last season's top scorer Michu and talented individuals Jonathan de Guzman and Pablo Hernandez robbing Laudrup of some of his top performers.

Bergkamp would irrefutably look to instil the same solidity the Arsenal 'Invincibles' side of 2003/2004 possessed alongside their continental flair to improve the Swans' fortunes but Laudrup leaves something of a poisoned chalice with plenty to be done in restoring the faith in players and fans alike.

The Gunners legend would inherit a divided dressing room, amplified by a recent spat between defender Chico Flores and stopgap manager Garry Monk, and several under-performing players in need of fresh impetus.

The arrival of such a stellar managerial name could be the catalyst for greater things from a Swans perspective despite concerns over the transfer budget available, illustrated by the January acquisitions of David N'Gog and Marvin Emnes.

It would be a baptism of fire for Bergkamp to come in and transform a side in substantial and expeditious decline but if anyone is up to the task then the Non Flying Dutchman is surely the man for the job.

Plus, the additional dangling carrot will be a lack of Europa League football in the not too distant future, with the south Wales outfit unlikely to see off Napoli in the first knockout round, something that ultimately stalled Laudrup and the team's progress and would save Bergkamp some costly train and car journeys across the continent…

image: © Christopher Elkins

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