Saturday, September 23, 2017

Swansea must act quickly to replace Gylfi Sigurdsson

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It seems like one of the longest running sagas of the summer transfer window is ending. Icelandic attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has passed his medical at Everton ahead of completing a £45million move to Everton.

The two clubs had reportedly been in negotiations for over a month. Frankly, it had become tedious for everybody connected with both clubs. It was inevitable that Sigurdsson would join the Toffees it was only a matter of when.

If all goes well the playmaker will complete his club-record move later today. For me, putting his price aside it is a very good move for Everton. However, it puts Swansea in a perilous position. The Welsh club has to act quickly on strengthening their squad and immediately.

Deals held up

Not knowing the ins and outs of Swansea’s finances, it looks like the Welsh side needed to sell their main asset prior to signing new players. That means that boss Paul Clement has been unable to significantly strengthen his squad.

The Swans only signings of the summer were Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa and young striker Tammy Abraham from Chelsea on-loan. I am sure this is not how Swans boss Clement wanted to conduct his summer transfer business.

While other clubs in the Premier League brought in players early in the summer, Swansea will now have to conduct significant business in the final few weeks of the transfer window. It is hardly ideal for a team expected to struggle against the drop this season.

Sigurdsson needs replacing

There is no doubt that Gylfi Sigurdsson has been Swansea’s key player in recent seasons. It would be difficult to claim that the Welsh side would have survived the drop without the Icelandic star in their team.

Sigurdsson produced 9 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League last season, starting all but one of the Swans top-flight games. His goals, creativity and sheer influence will be hard to replace.

However, Swansea have to try and do just that. A number of players are reported targets for the Swans, including Stoke midfielder Joe Allen, Manchester City forward Wilfried Bony and West Brom playmaker Nacer Chadli.

The former pair have both enjoyed previous spells with the Welsh side. Allen enjoyed the best campaign of his Premier League career last season, while Bony spent last season on-loan at Stoke and made just ten starts for the Potters.

Chadli is a player that is highly inconsistent, which has hampered his Premier League career with both Spurs and the Baggies. All three players have shined at one point in their top-flight careers. Maybe a switch to Wales would bring the best out them.

If Clement manages to find a player that comes close to replacing Sigurdsson, then he would deserve massive credit. Some connected with the Swans believe that selling the star and bringing in the right signings could make them a better all-around team. It would take some very shrewd signings for that prediction to come to true.

Swansea look set for a long season

Sigurdsson leaving is a major blow to the Swans hopes of Premier League survival this season. The one positive for me about Swansea is the boss Paul Clement. He seems to have steadied the ship since last season and an opening day goalless draw at Southampton was a good result.

However, unless Clement can heavily improve his squad the Swans odds of 9/4 for relegation could look very generous. Along with Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, Sigurdsson supplied that little bit of quality last season.

The Icelandic midfielder was a big creative force for the Swans. Without him, they seem bereft of creativity. Llorente will score goals, but he needs players to supply him with chances, as he is not a striker who will fashion chances out of nothing.

The next few weeks could well shape Swansea’s season. If Clement can work quickly and bring in a few decent quality players, they could stay up. However, I really do fear for the Swans Premier League status, as Sigurdsson was such a big part of their survival bid last season. I believe they could struggle without him this season.

Can Swansea beat relegation without Gylfi Sigurdsson?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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