Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin
Swansea's Premier League season began with a 1-0 victory over Burnley, a vital three points to get the Swans off and running in what could prove to be the most competitive season in recent memory.
What did we learn from this win though? Did anyone stand out and do Swansea need to take a trip into the transfer market to bolster their squad?
Gylfi Sigurdsson is vitally important
Swansea enjoyed a lot of possession in the opening exchanges with Burnley as they looked to pick up a valuable three points on the first day of the season. Swansea won the game 1-0, but this was only after the introduction of Gylfi Sigurdsson. This perfectly displays how important the Icelandic International is to the Swans.
The midfielder signed a four year contract earlier in the summer, and he showed just how vital this piece of business was. The midfielder was instrumental in the Welsh side staying up last season and will have to be amongst the goals again if they are to do the same this season.
Last campaign, the midfielder scored 11 times and assisted three goals. While these are not mind-blowing stats, it did keep the Swans ticking over as they escaped the clutches of relegation.
Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson
Along with the goals and assists, Sigurdsson brings an intelligence to the midfield, along with a superb range of passing and fantastic technical ability. When he plays, he drives the team forward which is vital to the Swans.
He showed all of these attributes against Burnely, with his passing and dribbling allowing Swansea to carry an attacking edge from midfield once he was brought on as a substitute.
Now that Ashley Williams has departed for Everton, it is even more important that Sigurdsson steps up to the mark.
Lukasz Fabianski is earning his keep
The Polish goalkeeper has had his fair share of critics throughout his career and, due to high profile errors, has struggled to really impose himself on the Premier League. The goalkeeper was an Arsenal player between 2007-14, but only made 32 appearances. After his unhappy spell in London, Fabianski moved to Swansea in 2014 and has been their number one goalkeeper ever since.
75 appearances for the Swans shows that he has had little trouble holding down his place for the only Welsh side in the Premier League. Fabianski has only really had Gerhard Tremmel for company in recent times, however, the likes of Kristoffer Nordfeldt and Mark Birighitti now provide a healthy competition for places in the team.
Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski in action
Perhaps it is this added pressure on his place that has spurred Fabianski on at the start of this season. The goalkeeper was in fine form against Burnley and while not perfect in the air, he was very competent on the ball, as he must be when playing for a team like Swansea.
However, late in the game Fabianski showed his most prominent quality. First, a superb one handed save denied Sam Vokes, before he pulled off a magnificent reaction save to stop Dean Marney’s deflected effort from earning Burnley a point in their first game of the season.
If Swansea are to survive and thrive this season, then Fabianski’s form will be hugely important to them. He must take the momentum he has gained from the season opener as he looks to add consistency to his high goalkeeping ability.
Ashley Williams is a huge loss
It was an absolute nightmare situation for Swansea City when Ashley Williams was linked with Everton. It became even worse when his transfer became a reality. The centre-back has been THE player for Swansea since they earned a place in the Premier League, and a Swansea without him was almost unthinkable.
But the unthinkable did happen, and now Swansea must move on, and fast. Against Burnley, Federico Fernandez and Jordi Amat were utilised at the back and looked fairly solid, if unspectacular. There were instances of poor communication and a lack of game time together, but the two will be pleased with the way they defended in the game.
Wales' Ashley Williams reacts
Losing Williams is more than just losing a player though. The centre-back was their captain, their leader and, alongside Sigurdsson, their best player. The fact that their best player and captain went for such a small fee in comparison to the prices of today’s player will serve as a kick in the teeth for Swansea fans. However, they should keep in mind that Williams will be 32-years-old later this month.
It was a worrying time when Williams left the Swans, but immediately getting off the mark in the league will calm their fears slightly. However, Swansea must look to bring in a replacement for their former-captain. With very few top quality centre-backs available for transfer, Swansea’s scouts really need to earn their money.