Even though it seems that many of the stars from Swansea’s first season in the Premiership are flocking toward the big bucks of the top teams, Michael Laudrup should be pleased with his business for the Welsh side this summer.
Joe Allen has gone and Scott Sinclair looks to be on his way after rejecting a contract extension but 5 new players have been brought in and three from La Liga. Players that travel from Spain to England to play football tend to adapt pretty quickly, Juan Mata and Sergio Aguero are examples from last season, so Laudrup’s latest potential signing could also be an important one.
Pablo Hernandez is soon to become Swansea’s record signing, according to reports in the Daily Mail and could help fill the void left creatively, by Allen and the soon to be departed Sinclair.
At 27 he has been an integral part of the Valencia side used to playing for the ‘best of the rest’ title in La Liga and will bring a wealth of experience as well as quality to the Welsh Barcelona. Last season he managed 5 goals and 11 assists and the one before that it was 7 goals and 6 assists. Another new signing for Swansea, Jonathan De Guzman, had been playing against Hernandez for a number of years in La Liga and spoke highly of him on the Sky Sports website:
“He would be a great signing. He’s a very good player, creative and fast.”
As a winger he could be a direct replacement for Sinclair in the same way that it seems Laudrup has brought in Michu – who scored 15 goals for Rayo Vallencano last season – as a replacement for Allen and Chico Flores as a replacement for Steven Caulker who has gone back to Tottenham after his loan spell.
It is promising for everyone’s second favourite Premiership team that Laudrup has identified the areas becoming weaker due to players departures and is addressing them. Whether they will pay off won’t be seen until the season kicks off.
A lot of doubt has been cast over the Liberty stadium due to the departure of Rodgers but Laudrup often plays a similar brand of football wherever he has been previously and with the signings he has made they could avoid the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’.
With the signing of Hernandez due to be concluded in a few days, as reports seem to suggest, I think Laudrup would benefit from bringing in a new striker to bolster his options up front. He has publicly said he believes Danny Graham can bang in the goals this season and is showing faith in Luke Moore and Leroy Lita as backups but with the money they could get for Sinclair and have got from Allen, perhaps they should look to someone that can guarantee goals.
All pessimism aside, Swansea should be clear of relegation this year. With signings like Hernandez to add to Michu and so on, there is even more of a Spanish flair to the Welsh side and I think it will aid them for the coming season. After all the entertaining they did last year let’s hope they don’t do a Bolton.
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