Ashley Williams left Swansea for Everton last week
Everton completed the £12 million signing of Ashley Williams from Swansea City last week and now the Welsh outfit find themselves short of options in the central defensive area.
The 31-year-old was a man mountain for the Swans during his eight-year spell with the club, and now Francesco Guidolin must ensure that he replaces the Welshman with someone who possesses similar physical and mental attributes.
A smart signing for Swansea would be Aston Villa's Micah Richards.
The 28-year-old former Manchester City man is physically imposing and can be an influential leader in the heart of the defence.
Aston Villa’s Micah Richards
He would slot seamlessly into Williams' former role of vocal leader, and instantly inject a sense of fighting spirit back into the Swansea side which they would undoubtedly have partially lost with their former captain's exit from the club.
The Villa defender has incredible pace for someone with such a large frame, and his uncompromising style is combined with a certain level of guile which saw him regarded as one of England's best defenders not too long ago.
The versatile Richards is equally as competent at playing in the right-back role, so would be able to provide ample cover there, giving Guidolin more options than he currently has.
Micah Richards could be a fantastic option for Swansea City
Richards endured a poor campaign by his standards last term, but it is slightly unfair to judge a player who was surrounded by so many teammates who exerted minimal effort for the cause.
The former England international has been an un-used sub in both of Villa's Championship games this term, so the early impression is that Roberto Di Matteo does not see him as an indispensable first-team member.
Swansea should test the Villa hierarchy's resolve with an offer for Richards, and if they do manage to pull-off a deal for the 28-year-old, they would find themselves in a far stronger position defensively to the one they are currently in.