Earmarked as two of the favourites to gain promotion back to the Premier League, the early season form of the two clubs could not be any different.
Under former Ostersund manager, Graham Potter, Swansea currently sit sixth in the table and three points off top of the table Leeds. The Swans drew at the weekend to Nottingham Forest following the international break but go into the game at vulnerable Stoke City side that need to win.
Gary Rowett has struggled to get his Stoke side going so far this season and go into the game at Swansea City currently in 20th place. Moreover, Rowett’s side has struggled to keep any clean sheets and currently have the worst defensive record in the Championship.
Tonight, we see the two sides face each other and within that we see two new players to their respective clubs, Bersant Celina and Sam Clucas face each other…
Making his name at Hull City, Clucas’s route to the Premier League wasn’t the most conventional of journeys. A product of the Glenn Hoddle Academy, Clucas (valued at £7.20m by Transfermarkt) joined Stoke City.
Despite having a fairly impressive two-year stint at Hull, Clucas struggled to take that form into last season. Amid a year where the Swans were relegated, Clucas’ Swansea City career never really took off.
Naturally a central midfielder, Clucas was played a lot as a left-midfielder for Swansea last year and as of yet has yet to make an appearance for his new club. Oghenekaro Etebo and James McClean have both played ahead of the midfielder and as it stands, it seems unlikely that the 27-year-old is going to make much game time in the near future.
A good player, the move as of yet hasn’t born fruit and it probably won’t do.
TT Rating: C
A constant in the Swansea City side so far this year, Bersant Celina is a classic example of a youth prospect that has tonnes of talent but has never been given a chance to prove himself at his parent club.
The Kosovo international was signed to the Manchester City academy in 2012 but after two loan spells to FC Twente and Ipswich, Swansea City signed the talented attacker (valued at £2.25m by Transfermarkt) over the summer and although he’s only registered one assist in seven games, it looks as though Swansea City have signed a potential star.
Quick, skilful and versatile, the attacker has the rare ability to take players on, beat them all the while at full pace. Last year for Ipswich, he scored seven goals in 35 appearances in the Championship.
Getting the 22-year-old attacker for £3.06 million looks like it could be an absolute steal for the club. It might be too early to say but Swansea City may have found the man to get them back to the Premier League.
TT Grade: B+
In fairness, comparing a natural attacker in Celina to Clucas who should really be playing in the middle of the park isn’t exactly a fair comparison. However, when comparing the transfer fees and talent levels of the two, there’s a clear winner.
Clucas is coming into his prime and could well turn out to be a solid player for Stoke as the season goes on. Celina, on the other hand, looks like a natural player who in Swansea’s new system could thrive. Moroever, given that he’s 22, there’s a strong possibility that he could not only go on to be one of the club’s best players but also one that could be sold on for a big future fee.
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