Swansea City are struggling for results, but the spark Modou Barrow brings on the flanks could be the key to a turnaround.
Swansea City are having a rough time of it this season. They have failed to claim three points in the league since their win against Burnley on the opening day, and currently sit second-bottom with just five points after nine games.
Clearly, that is poor form, and while the Swans haven't always played badly, their results haven't been good enough.
Much of this has been down to a downright shocking transfer policy. The sale of Ashley Williams to Everton was not duly compensated for, and has left a gaping leader-shaped hole at the club, just as Fabian Delph's departure did last season at Aston Villa.
Villa sold their best player and their captain in the same season without truly replacing them, and it cost them dear. Swansea have done the same, except in the form of just one player. Williams was their best defender, their best player, and a great leader all rolled into one. Mike van der Hoorn seems to be a decent enough player, but the Swans needed more at the back.
They are not without quality in their ranks, though. Swansea's best years were built on a solid defence (marshalled by Williams), and playing neat, passing football from back to front, stretching the pitch with explosive wingers like Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge.
Those two are still at the club, along with the likes of Jefferson Montero and Modou Barrow.
Barrow in particular has been a bright spark in the side, terrorising full-backs with his pace and skill, creating chances for his teammates and opening up spaces.
He has yet to score, but the same can be said for much of the squad. Only four players have scored for Swansea this season, while only midfielder Leroy Fer has scored more than twice - making the Dutchman's loan deal permanent has been one of the few solid transfer dealings made by the Swans this season (on current evidence, at least).
Swansea arguably need to get back to doing what they did best - playing good football - and they have the central midfield players to pull that off.
The form of exciting wingers like Barrow, who can stretch the pitch, pull players out of position and excite the crowd is crucial to many systems. If the Gambian can continue to perform, and add to his end product, then he will play a massive part in helping the Swans stave off the drop.
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