So the new manager has some decisions to make. We all want the Swansea Way back, we all really want to win football matches and we all want to ensure that we have a football club that survives financially; it may well be that not all is possible and we need to chose our priority. First issue we have is the current players; here is how I see our options and how it could pan out.
Dream scenario is that we are able to offload everyone that we want to and have a ‘kitty’ to spend a little cash to fill in the gaps that we need. Bring in players who suit the Swansea way and ship off those who don’t fit which will help us balance the books. How likely is all this? Who will we want to keep hold of? Who will we be forced to?
Keeper: Fab is going! No doubt about that, I don’t really have a clue about goalkeepers and whether there are players at the club who can step up to the mark or not but I’m pretty sure we will have a player who owns a pair of gloves come the beginning of August. We’ll make a few quid on Fab…
3 centre half’s would be fine with a couple of youngster’s coming through the under 23s, especially if we return to our 4-5-1 formation. We have 5 at present; who to lose?
Mawson is ‘sellable’ for decent money. He will be on decent wages but there are top-10 clubs who will happily match or increase his pay packet. A bid of £20 million plus would surely be accepted and it seems like a deal that must happen and will happen.
Federico Fernandez is another who could well attract attention. Wages may be an issue though. Would a top-10 club come in for him? Probably not and so we’ll be looking at a lower Premier League club who would be willing to offer him the wages that he’s currently on. Do-able? Probably but not definitely.
Van Der Hoorn: I think our Dutchman is almost 100% certain to remain at the club. His wages will be reasonable. He hasn’t done enough to attract major offers but certainly would be a very good Championship player. There will be no ridiculous offer coming in and I’d be definitely keeping him.
Kyle Bartley: Leeds are a-knocking apparently. He will definitely want to be in the starting eleven wherever he is and it is highly likely that he will be one of our best defenders next year. His wages will be reasonable enough for us to keep but a cash offer may be too good to turn down if we can’t offload everyone we want to.
Jordi Amat: the forgotten man! He’s had a brilliant season in Spain and will definitely have takers should we want to sell. But should we? Wages will be OK, he’s just been at the heart of a defence which has finished 5th in La Liga so he’s clearly Championship level and is able to play the ball…. Swansea way???
Verdict: Mawson to go. £20 million acquired. Ideally I’d want to lose Fernandez too, save the wages. Chances are he would bring less money in than Amat or Bartley but save on the wages and thinking more youth. Amat, Bartley & Van Der Hoorn to be our 3!
Wingbacks: I can’t really see much changing here but in an ideal world I’d like to lose Naughton as Connor Roberts is the better player on a fraction of the wages. In reality I can’t see anyone wanting to take him in the Premier League and his wages will probably be a bit too much for the lower teams. I can’t really see any movement at all at full back.
Centre Midfield: Leon and Ki are no more. It seems like only last week that we were moaning about having too many central midfielders but suddenly there aren’t anywhere near enough.
Carroll: He’s already come out and said that he is staying and could potentially play a vital role depending on how brave our next manager is. Used as a ‘creative’ player under previous managers but he’s certainly more Leon Britton than Sigurdsen; If we are looking to get back to the Swansea Way then a player like him needs to sit at the bottom of that three; Martinez was brave putting Leon there in League One. Can someone do the same with Carroll?
Fer: I like Fer! He’s energetic and designed perfectly for the Championship. Reminds me a lot of Darren Pratley and would fit in really well in a similar role.
Clucas: Our record signing hasn’t set the world alight as yet. There is a good player in there but is he a ‘Swansea Way’ player? I’d sadly say that he isn’t. If you are playing in that midfield then you need to have a brilliant first touch and passes need to be spot-on. Too often his pass is slightly behind the man and it can destroy a whole move. Our issue is whether we could sell him? Who would buy him? Who would pay wages?
Messa: Another forgotten man. His loan seemed poor but apparently Seville may be interested in making it a permanent one. It seems that we’d be happy to offload him and cut our losses as good as we can.
Verdict: If we could offload Messa and Clucas then that would leave us needing to bring in at least two new midfielders. The midfield was our weakest part of last season so a recycle would be good. We cannot play the Swansea Way without new blood in the engine room of the pitch. Joe Allen would still be a HUGE signing and we should go all out for him as a marker of intent.
Wingers: We didn’t really have proper wingers last season. The Swansea Way requires paint on your boots!! Brendan always spoke about making the pitch as wide as possible. Sinclair and Dyer were menacing back then but can we do the same with our lot?
Narsingh: there won’t be many clubs looking to sign him or many fans exciting about us still having him here but he’s never really had a chance to play as a proper winger. Used mainly as a sub when we are a goal down playing an opposition sitting back, it is hard to know how good he can be. I think we are stuck with him anyway but I think he could do a good job in a proper winger role as the Swansea Way.
Dyer: He’s not the player he once was but he can still do a job at this level whether off the bench or from the start. Our last surviving player from our promotion season, it is important we keep him within the ranks…
Routledge: Pretty much identical opinion to that of Dyers. He’ll do OK and he can also play in that hole behind the front man. I think he could have had a much better career than what he has but he’s done OK.
Andre Ayew: In an ideal world then I’d take the £20 million back and take him off our wage bill but I can’t see anyone taking him off our hands. He doesn’t really fit with the Swansea Way, not a proper winger but he’s too good (and expensive) to leave out. I’d love to offload… if not then we need to get the best out of him and maybe sacrifice a bit if the Swansea Way.
Montero: Everyone assumes that he’s gone…. and maybe he will but he could potentially be insane at this level. Him on one wing with Narsingh on the other? Stretch the pitch?
Dan James: Just a quick mention because I’d much rather see him getting time rather than pretty much any of the other players above. 4 wingers would be needed for the season, if we can offload any of the above and sneak Dan in then I’d be happy!
Verdict: Can’t see anyone coming in…. Hopefully lose one of them…. Preferably Andre Ayew…..
Up-Top: We are potentially blessed here!
Ayew J: We could get a sniff from one of the promoted clubs or lower Prem clubs and I’d offload given the chance. He did well last season but I don’t think he fits well with the style of play that we want to play. He’s neither a number nine or a winger or a number ten and I’d try and get rid.
Bony: If fit then he’s going to destroy this league and would be absolutely amazing at the top of a 4-5-1 formation. He can bring those around him into the game and get on the end of crosses from our wide-men. We are almost certainly stuck with him and his wage bill so we better hope that he gets fit, hungry and destroys the championship.
Baston: Yep him!! And we are certainly stuck with him!! Nobody is going to take him off our wage bill so we need to somehow get him firing. The championship for a season could be exactly what he needs and this could be the start of him finding his feet again
McBurnie: Supposedly wants to join Leeds but we’ll want to keep him. He’s probably on a sixth of the wages that Bony and Baston are on which will appeal to the board, would be tragic to see him go just so we can afford to pay the wages of the other two strikers for a year…….
Verdict: We have no chance of losing Bony or Baston and would likely sell one of the others, Ideally Ayew. We could be phenomenal up top next campaign….