Leroy Fer (mid) QPR; Mike van der Hoorn (def) Ajax; Mark Birighitti (gk) Newcastle Jets; Gerhard Tremmel (gk) Werder Bremen – end of loan; Franck Tabanou (def) Saint-Etienne – end of loan;
Alberto Paloschi (sp) (att) Atalanta; Eder (sp) (att) Lille; Lee Lucas (mid) released; Daniel Alfei (def) released; Liam Shephard (def) Yeovil Town – on loan; Ryan Hedges (mid) Yeovil Town – on loan; Oliver Davies (gk) Kilmarnock – on loan; Matt Grimes (sp) (mid) Leeds – on loan; Kenji Gorre (mid) Northampton Town – on loan; Kyle Bartley (def) Leeds – on loan; Bafetimbi Gomis (r) (att) Marseille – on loan;
Swansea had a difficult last season that saw them struggling for consistency all throughout, but after surviving in the league with relative ease now the Swans are looking to reboot and start the new campaign full of confidence. The new coach of the Welsh is the experienced Francisco Guidolin, who seems to have done the most important dealings just ten days before the start of the new season after securing contract extensions for his big stars Ashley Williams, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andrew Ayew. The three of them most definitely will be the backbone of the entire team this season, but Guidolin is still actively looking for strikers as those he found when arriving in June didn’t fit in his plans to play much quicker and intense football. Gomis was loaned to Marseille, while Eder and Paloschi were sold and this leaves him with a single typical centre forward in the face of Marvin Emnes. Most definitely new arrivals in attack can be expected but in the first rounds, just like during most of the preseason Ayew will be used as a false nine. So far Swansea signed three new players, with Birighitti not coming into the team with any expectations to be the first choice goalkeeper. The other two newcomers though are likely to be involved a lot and Van der Hoorn’s defensive skills have been praised by many for the past two seasons and now the young centre-back will have to reveal his potential. Fer’s arrival stabilises even more the solid midfield, where he and Ki are expected to operate behind Sigurdsson and two of the three speed merchants Montero, Routledge and Dyer. At the minute the Swans have a small squad and for several positons there is no cover, or even obvious first choice options, which in the long term can prove problematic if injuries settle in. There are four or five players in the squad that look absolutely indispensable and if they all remain fit and in good form Swansea will have enough in themselves to avoid relegation, but without new recruits this is unlikely to happen. Monitoring the team’s transfer activity in the last few weeks of August will be important.
Swansea can hope to achieve a mid-table finish only if they buy at least two more high-profile players, a striker definitely, but Guidolin’s men will still require Sigurdsson and Ayew to remain fit all season, or they very easily can be engulfed in a gruelling battle for survival.