ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Swansea City
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Swansea City
Posted by Max Hicks on 07/11/2012

New boss Michael Laudrup has wasted no time in shoring up the squad in key areas, bringing in two former charges to fill out gaps in defence and midfield. The signings should help allay any fears Swans fans might have had following the double loss of loanee stand-outs Stephen Caulker and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who re-united at Spurs.

In defence, Chico Flores replaces Caulker, where he'll hopefully feel at home with fellow Spaniard Angel Rangel. For a solid overview of the new man, offthepost have written up an excellent article which outlines Flores' virtues as a man marker - any player who can contain Xavi should be welcome in the Swans back four. He's also got a little bit of height, which is something the Swans could always use at the back.

The other big signing was the loan acquisition of Jonathan de Guzman. De Guzman is a creative central playmaker who should fit into the 'Siggy role' perfectly. It remains to be seen if he'll be the dead ball specialist Sigurdsson was, but he definitely has an eye for a pass and a decent long-range shot and should be eager to prove himself in the Prem after struggling for first team football last season.

The one knock on de Guzman is his injury history; he has had at least two serious knee injuries in the past. Whilst the hope is that his injuries are behind him, Huw Jenkins might have been understandably cautious, which explains the savvy behind taking the player on a season long loan. If the injuries re-surface, the Swans won't have risked the seven million or so it might have taken to buy de Guzman outright. Of course, if he holds up all season, the move might be made permanent.

The biggest benefit of both moves is that the players were already known to Laudrup. The familiarity means Laudrup knows exactly what he's getting, and knows both players can fit straight into the system - there's far less 'bedding in' required, whilst the players themselves ought to feel instantly comfortable going to play for a former boss.

The first moves of the Laudrup era are encouraging. It'll be interesting to see what's next, and especially to see how he deals with the Scott Sinclair situation. What would you do? Sell now or risk losing him for nothing next summer?

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Posted by steve on 07/11/2012

Fantastic new signings and yes very shrewd of Hue to test before he buys. The sinclair saga, sell now and cash in, we don't need players at the liberty who don't want to be here, he will realise what he has lost when he has gone, like all the previous departures.

I'd agree - I think if Huw can get decent money for the player right now, then it's a no brainer. Sinclair has been good for the Swans, but not irreplaceable. M

Posted by Kyle on 07/12/2012

Good stuff as always. I'm very excited by the signings so far feel they'll fit well and cover our major holes.

As for Sinclair if he isn't gonna sign a new deal you have to sell him. 5 million is a lot of cash for Swansea so you can't lose him for nothing as much as I'd hate to lose him.

How much more do you feel Laudrup has to spend? Shouldn't he have quite a bit if you consider the 7 million that was gonna be spent on Siggy and the 7 from Rodgers?

I heard initial transfer budget figures of £15 million for the Swans this year. I am assuming some of the £7 million from Rodgers has gone towards paying Laudrup and the new backroom staff, which is money very well spent. Since de Guzman has joined on loan instead of for the £7 million which was being talked about prior to the agreement, Laudrup should have £12 or £13 million more to play with accounting for Chico's fee. So... plenty of money to chase a Sinclair replacement (Krohn-Dehli would be excellent), and that's without considering the money the Swans would take from his sale... M

Posted by hari on 07/12/2012

I was afraid that after liverpool poached rodgers swansea wouldnt keep up the good work,,,but laudrup is top class! what would your tarrget for the season be??

Laudrup's appointment was a real coup for the club, and made a powerful statement of intent. For me, obviously avoiding relegation is still the basic goal, and the team will need time to adjust to the new boss. However, having said that, Laudrup's style is such a good fit with the Swans, the adjustment should be minor, and I expect the team can pick up where they left off.

Having a new manager might help the Swans avoid the second-season pitfall of being 'found out'. Since the Swans themselves are only just learning how they are going to play this year, the rest of the league can pretty much tear up last season's form book - although the changes might be slight, they ought to be telling enough to keep the opposition guessing, and that might buy Swansea enough grace to nail down a strong second season.

I think the side has enough in the tank to equal or better last season's finish. However, being a little more realistic, I think 14th is achievable without being over optimistic. Laudrup is a career winner, and he'll foster a positive environment which will keep the players belief up. I think the bookies early relegation favourites tag is more laughable than it was last season, although I hope I'm not made to eat those words of course... M

Posted by Mark on 07/15/2012

Have to agree with the other comments about Sinclair - cash in now, before his contract expires, and while he's in the limelight. You don't want a situation like Rodallega at Wigan (rejecting big offers, then losing him on a free). Sinclair is also in the Olympic squad, so maybe a good showing can push his value up a little more.

Also congratulations on getting Laudrup! A man with such a reputation in football can only be good. Chico and de Guzman look shrewd signings, particularly de Guzman. It seems to have gone almost unnoticed that Villarreal were relegated last season, and they finished fourth the season before that, so their squad should be ripe for the picking.

Going back to Sinclair possibly being sold, what do you think would be a reasonable price for him? Allen is also being linked with a transfer - same question?


Player value is always an interesting topic, mostly because for every Demba Ba there's a Jordan Henderson. For Sinclair, I would expect something in the £5 million to £7 million range, although that might be hard to enforce given the club is not dealing from a position of strength with Sinclair's contract situation the way it is. Anything less than £5 million would be disappointing, however; he's an established first team player, and to most non-Swans fans, one of the more recognisable names (though I still think Dyer is the better of the Swans two wide men).

For Allen... £10 million is the price being casually attached to the player by 'the internet'. It is so hard to say for sure as he's an emerging talent. He stands out on the Swans team, but would he be a regular at Anfield right now? (Liverpool being the most likely interested party). Then you have to consider the impact Scott Parker has had for Spurs for just £5 million. Perhaps it's easier to say that Allen will likely be worth £10 million or more in the future. For now, that figure seems steep, but due to his importance to the Swans (and the fact he's one of our own), anything less than £7-£8 million (perhaps with incentives on top) would be a waste of time. After all, he'd have to be replaced, and his future potential is significant. Swansea might be a 'small' club, but that is no reason for the team to accept silly bids from rich teams for good players. M.

Posted by Matthew Cordell on 07/21/2012

Is Laudrupp just gonna sign spaniards? Because i want to see young welsh and english players rather then see the club get over run by foreigners like at clubs such as manchester city and arsenal

This wouldn't be the first time the Swans experienced an influx of Spaniards, and the last time it happened, things worked out pretty well. However, I would also like to see more home-grown talent. Hopefully, the Swans efforts towards establishing a youth academy will go some way to creating a strong new wave of Welsh and domestic born players for the future. For now, however, the reality is that there are precious few available domestic players who fill the team's needs. For example, which Welsh players have Michu's credentials and were available for £2 million right now? It is inevitable that Laudrup will exploit his mostly-overseas connections to help build the Swans into a team that can survive in the Premier League in the short term. And if he can accomplish that, it will only help the team produce local talent in the future, which will help the Swans stay up in the long term. I seriously doubt the Swans will go the way of Man City and Arsenal for good, though. It's a case of needs must at present. M

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