Since taking over as Swansea City manager, Michael Laudrup has so far signed defender Chico Flores and midfielders Jonathan de Guzman and Michu. As I write, he’s about to add via loan Israeli international Itay Shechter, a striker who cut his teeth playing with Hapoel Tel Aviv before moving on to a somewhat disappointing run with German club Kaiserslautern. Also as I write, Liverpool is moving in to swipe Joe Allen, reportedly offering £15m for the 22-year-old midfielder. Meanwhile Laudrup apparently expects Scott Sinclair to stay at Liberty, despite reports that Manchester City is interested in the Team Great Britain “star.”
With all the transfers and rumors swirling about, not to mention Brendan Rodgers himself leaving after the end of last season, it’s hard to keep track of just what starting XI Swansea will bring to the table this coming campaign—and one must further wonder if any of them will be Welsh.
However, while running the risk of jumping the proverbial gun, one can, with some sound footing, muster an assessment of how the team is shaping up thus far. I think Laudrup might actually be a better coach than Rodgers, considering his pedigree and public statements about the club since taking over. So as far as management, the Swans really lucked out; having a coach plucked after one year in the Prem may have sent other teams spiraling out of control, but Laudrup seems strangely at home in Swansea, as if he’s always been there.
In terms of transfer moves, Laudrup has played his cards well. Picking up Guzman and Michu was smart and shrewd, and bringing in Shechter on loan doesn’t pose much of a risk while simultaneously offering the chance of a big reward. Sure, Shechter isn’t necessary a big name, but would a big name really fit at Swansea?
Even if Laudrup loses Sinclair and Allen (whew), he’s still got the Swansea system to keep consistency and move things along, and if he can add a winger then the Swans will be in business to keep their place in mid-table. Securing Michel Vorm and Nathan Dyer will be a must, but if it’s any preemptive consolation, the bench is relatively deep (considering this is their second season in the Prem) and stocked with willing and able-bodied Welshmen.
For now, I’d have to give Laudrup a B- in his transfer window scheming, with special mention that he just took over as manager. If he can keep Vorm, Dyer, and Sinclair while adding a winger, which is what he claims to be his goal, then he’ll move up to an A (since nobody gets an A+ under my system, sorry).
Either way I’m getting my kit next week and can’t wait for this season to get under way already. Go Swans.