The transfer window has been open 11 days, and despite Swansea’s glaring deficiencies the club still have yet to sign a single new player. A strong second half to the season is essential, not least because this season’s Premier League is so weak from the middle down that Swansea could spring themselves out of the drop zone with just 2 or 3 consecutive wins. That’s a rare position to be in — usually, bottom of the table at Christmas would mean almost certain relegation. Swansea must take advantage of an unusually weak division to beat the odds.
Rival clubs will be strengthening during this period, and Swansea must do the same if they are to have any chance of survival. The club went into the season with an incomplete, unbalanced squad, and should really have had their targets lined up well in advance of the window. While the usual names continue to circle the rumour blogs, I thought it would be fun to do some scouting of my own and dig up some left-field names Swansea should consider signing, keeping in mind the team’s positional needs — playmakers, wingers, and full-backs.
CAVEATS: I mostly looked for players within a realistic price range, that probably wouldn’t need work permits, and that have expiring contracts or skills which directly address Swansea’s weaknesses. I did not check wages, and there are so many other complicating factors we can’t properly assess (signing fees, agents fees etc), it’s best not to take this too seriously — it’s mostly just for fun.
Here we go:
Toonstra’s Dutch which instantly qualifies him as a potential Swansea signing. At 28 he’s in his prime, although he’s also recently signed a prime time contract with Feyenoord — he’s tied down for three and a half more seasons, so unlike many of the other targets on this list he probably wouldn’t come cheap. Despite having the skill set of a #10, he’s been most played as a centre mid at Feyenoord, which could help him fit into Carlos Carvalhal’s 4-4-2, while he’s versatile enough to also play wide. His strengths are key passes, through balls and crossing — just the ticket for a team lacking creativity.
If Swans American owners can pull some strings and bring MLS star Lodeiro to South Wales, they’ll possibly cure Swansea’s attacking woes in one swoop. The Uruguayan international is a solid all-round threat — an excellent passer, crosser and supplier of assists who will put in a defensive shift and earn his share of free-kicks. Good thing then he’s also a set-piece specialist, and can address one of Swansea’s biggest weaknesses this season. Lodeiro is also incredibly versatile, and has played on either flank as well as centrally, as a striker and even as a defensive mid. He only has one more year to run on his contract with an option for a further year.
If Swansea can’t land Lodeiro they’d do well to look at his compatriot Pereyra. He’s another set-piece specialist with an eye for creating chances and is considered “one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in Russian football“. Pereyra prefers to play in the hole, though he has featured on the right and even as a defensive mid. He’s contracted until the end of next season, and at 27 is hitting his prime.
Zuber’s under contract for a couple more season yet so might cost extra, but would represent a one-stop left-flank solution for Swansea. The Swiss international is an excellent passer with a strong defensive game, giving Swansea a solid two-way presence on the flank. He’d do well starting on the left side of Carlos’s 4-4-2, and could slot in at left back to give Martin Olsson time to get the feeling back in his legs. He’s versatile enough to switch over to the right, and is actually right-footed, which could see him play as an inverted winger should he start on his favoured left flank.
Limbombe is another with a little while to run on his contract, but his relatively low market value means he might yet come cheap. At 23 he’ll have chance to develop and could boast some impressive resale value if he comes good. He’s an attack-minded winger who will offer little defensively, but is a talented crosser who can hold on to the ball and take set-pieces. He’s also fast, and can inject some speed into Swansea’s somewhat stodgy squad.
The Full Backs
Ok, so it’s unlikely Kombarov would trade Spartak Moscow for Swansea, but if the Welsh club could tempt the veteran for a Premier League swansong, he’d instantly bring some valuable experience to town. A technical and fast all-rounder who can pass and provide, Kombarov can also line-up at left mid and has “no significant weaknesses” according to WhoScored. He’d push Olsson (possibly out of the starting XI), and could play in front of the Swede on the left of a midfield four to give Swansea at least one super solid flank.
Sylla is a big engine player with a solid defensive game, although he has been fielded as a winger in his career. His strengths include interceptions and tackling, and like Kombarov, he has the versatility to play in midfield and give Swansea two lines of defensive solidarity when the need arises. At 24 he’s got time to develop, and since he can play on either side, he’d provide Carlos with a useful tactical weapon.
Probably the most financially ambitious target on this list, Jonny is rated at €10m despite only having 18 months to run on his contract. At 23 he has plenty of time to develop and build resale value. The left back can play anywhere in the defence, and would give Carlos a dependable option in either a back four or a back three. He’s a more than capable passer as you’d expect from a La Liga player, but he’s also fast and aggressive, qualities sorely missing from this season’s Swansea squad.
There you have it. Eight players who will probably never suit up for Swansea, but if I were in charge of scouting, I’d pay myself to go for a
holiday looksee. Would you like to see any of these players come to Wales? Do you have suggestions of your own? Will Swansea even sign anyone at all this window? Qs & As on twitter >>>