Transfer masterstroke lifts Swansea to next level
Michael Laudrup has dramatically improved the squad with a number of shrewd additions
Last season Swansea City blew the Premier League away with their elegant style of play and close-knit squad. When Brendan Rodgers left for Liverpool people were quick to tip the Swans for relegation in this campaign.
However, with some astute signings from new manager Michael Laudrup, Swansea have won the League Cup and find themselves sitting 9th in the table. Here are three players that they did well to get rid of and four they did well sign.
Jonathan de Guzman in the centre of the Swansea midfield who was a loan signing from recently relegated Villarreal. The club has done fantastically well so far this season in the transfer market and I’m sure they have already earmarked their targets for the summer window.
Swansea’s talismanic forward was one of the key components of their first season in the Premier League but he found himself increasingly underused under new boss Laudrup and by January he had only managed three league goals. With this in mind Graham was shipped out to Sunderland for £5 million and after failing to score for his new club so far it looks like this was a good business.
The man from Spain was one of many to arrive from abroad and he, like the others has had no problems settling in. The winger has contributed three goals and six assists since his summer move and his intelligent link up play has provided a constant threat down the wing. He is equally happy cutting inside or taking his man on and it is that unpredictability that has made him such a danger this season.
If Scott Sinclair moved to Manchester City for the money then he must be perfectly happy but if he moved to play top-level football how he must be regretting his decision. At the Liberty stadium he was revered and was the main man both during their promotion season and then the debut season in the Premier League.
He racked up eight goals last season and even managed another one this season before his move to City but since then it has been a little different. With only two starts and a further six appearances from the bench Sinclair is yet to contribute a goal or an assist in the league and it is little wonder given he has had no time to find any sort of form. He could well have been a success at City but his lack of game time means we will never know.
Another Spanish new boy and since joining Chico Flores has looked right at home in the Premier League, ever since his masterful debut performance against QPR on the opening day of the season. Chico has formed an impressive partnership with Ashley Williams and looks like a real steal at just £2 million. The centre back has helped the Swansea defence to an impressive defensive record this season and was instrumental in their League Cup triumph.
When Rodgers was appointed Liverpool manager over summer he made it very apparent that the one player he wanted to take with him from Swansea was Joe Allen.
Whilst there was a clause in Rodger’s move stipulating that he couldn’t buy any of his former players for twelve months the fact that Swansea deemed the move in the club’s best interests meant the deal could go ahead.
Huw Jenkins was wise to sanction the deal that saw the Swans rake in a handsome transfer fee for a player who has failed to spark at Liverpool. His pass success rate is something Liverpool fans will always point towards but the fact of the matter is Allen is yet to contribute a goal or an assist for his new club. He may contribute to their general play but he certainly is nothing special, especially for £15 million.
Little was known about Miguel Cuesta, commonly known as Michu, before he stepped out on the pitch at Loftus Road to make his debut for Swansea City except that he had a fairly impressive goal-scoring record for a midfielder in Spain.
Two goals on debut and now another 30 games or so on and Michu is the name on everyone’s lips following one of the best debut seasons of any player in Premier League history. Couple this in with the low transfer deal and it is easy to see why Michu is being earmarked as the signing of the season. Fifteen goals so far in the league has propelled the Spaniard to joint fourth in the scoring charts and his side to a top ten position with just eight games to go.
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