Swansea City were relegated from the Premier League earlier this year after seven seasons in the top-flight, but could they have avoided the drop if Gylfi Sigurdsson had remained at the Liberty Stadium?
Neither Paul Clement or Carlos Carvalhal could steady the sinking ship last season with a distinct lack of quality dragging Swansea into a tough relegation battle, which they ultimately lost.
A quick glance at the squad from last season details a group of players who were desperately lacking the presence of genuine star quality; an ace up the sleeve; a player to single-handedly clinch three points in tightly-contested encounters.
Stoke City had a player whom matches that description in Xherdan Shaqiri and they still suffered the same fate as Swansea, but if they’d had a match-winner in their squad it’s likely that they’d still be playing top-flight football.
The gutting thing for Swansea supporters is that they had a player who was a class above the rest just a few weeks before the new season, but a tempting £45 million bid proved too good for the board to resist and Sigurdsson departed the club for the second time in his career.
A total of 37 goals and 30 assists throughout his Swansea career serves to illuminate Sigurdsson’s decisive quality in the final-third, and if he was operating in a number ten role then the Swans would have been well placed to stay up.
Naturally, it’s likely that Sigurdsson pushed for a move to Everton with the prospect of Europa League football to consider, so it would be harsh to slate the board for accepting such a huge offer for a player who they re-signed for a fifth of the price just three seasons earlier.
But a short-term financial windfall ultimately proved fatal to Swansea’s time in the Premier League as they failed to fill the void left by Sigurdsson, and his absence cost them the vital points needed for survival.
Swansea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!