Swansea City Premier League Preview
Players In: Chico, Michu, Jonathan De Guzman (loan)
Players Out: Joe Allen
After surprising almost everyone last year with possession based football to finish 11th to win over a lot of fans the South Wales club have lost their manager and their passing metronome Joe Allen. Goal scoring midfielder Gylfi Sygurdsson has found a better offer elsewhere and only £4m has been spent on two players with no Premier League experience and Jonathan De Guzman on loan.
Whilst that might all sound negative, those two players include Michu who scored at almost a goal every other game from midfield for Rayo Vallecano in La Liga. Chico (or Jose Manual Flores) played 33 games under Laudrup for Mallorca last season and is expected to bolster what was a very well organised defence last season.
For those that never watched Michael Laudrup play or Mallorca last season: we can expect a continuation of the current system with emphasis on possession and fast changes from defence into attack. De Guzman and Michu will be expected to contribute goals from midfield to help out what still looks a weak Premier League strike force.
If they can keep hold of Scott Sinclair they have pace in the wings assured keepers of possession and a resolute defence. Fans will be hoping Laudrup will turn into a safe pair of hands and not start any revolution to disrupt what looks again a very strong lower table side.
First game analysis:
Several pundits tipped the Swans to go down this season, and they do have a very thin squad in terms of depth, but their first XI can play a brand of football that few can cope with at full flow. They tormented QPR on Saturday with 15 goal-man, Michu, impressing as did the rejuvenated Wayne Routledge. Laudrup’s transfer additions this summer have been very shrewd, Chico in defence and De Guzman in midfield look good replacements for Caulker and Sigurdsson. Injuries look to be the only thing standing between Swansea and safety this season, a fully fit squad could even push for a top half finish.
The loss of Joe Allen is a shame for the fans but £15m is a lot of money and if it is reinvested Swansea should come back stronger. Laudrup’s impact will be interesting to monitor as the season goes on as his ideas slowly take over from Brendan Rodgers’. They may not reach the same heights as last season but should have enough to protect themselves from second season syndrome.