Swansea City became the first Welsh side to play in the Premier League, the season before last under Brendan Rodgers and finished in a creditable 11th place in the Premier League that season.
Under Rodgers’ replacement Michael Laudrup, the Swans did even better finishing ninth last season.
Not only did the Swans improve on their position from the previous season, they also won their first ever silverware in English competition, winning the Capital One Cup. It was a fantastic achievement by the Welsh club.
Earlier this summer there seemed to be some doubts that Michael Laudrup would carry on as the Swans boss. There was concern over the Dane’s budget at the Liberty Stadium. Those doubts seem to have faded into the distance as the summer has rolled on.
The Swans boss now seems fully committed to the cause. Laudrup has already started to strengthen his squad ahead of Swansea’s first furore into European football in over twenty years.
Their last European tie was a Cup Winners Cup tie against French AS Monaco in season 1991/92, when the Welsh side were hammered 10-1 by the French outfit. The Swansea of today though, is very different to the one that took on Monaco in that tie.
The Swansea squad is now a cosmopolitan squad of international footballers, who are better equipped to deal with the challenges of European football. They are no longer a rag-tag bunch of lower league players.
As I stated previously Swansea have already been scouring the market for players to add to their squad for the new season. The Swans have added Spanish defensive midfielder Jose Canas on a free transfer from Real Betis.
Compatriot Jordi Amat has completed a £2.8million move from Espanyol, subject to a medical. The young defender spent last season on-loan at Rayo Vallecano, after helping Espanyol to eighth place in La Liga the previous season.
Swansea are in talks with Vitesse Arnhem over the £10million signing of Ivory Coast international striker Wilfried Bony. “The clubs are now talking to each other, Swansea has made Vitesse a bid and I hope it’s good,” The striker told Voetbal International.
“Swansea is a wonderful club. It’s my chance to play in the Premier League and they also play attractive football.
“I understood from my agent that Swansea want to pay €12million for me and that is what Vitesse want to receive, so I hope there is some good news soon.”
Despite the players statement, Vitesse deny that they have reached an agreement with any club. However, the Dutch side are expected to lose the prolific striker this summer. The 24-year-old has previously attracted the interest of Liverpool and Newcastle.
It would be something of a coup if Swansea signed the in-demand striker. The Swans attack is an area of the team that needs desperately strengthening with Michu and Luke Moore as their only senior striking options.
Swansea have also agreed a fee with Birmingham for winger Nathan Redmond, according to Sky Sports. The 19-year-old England under-21 is also believed to be interesting Fulham and Norwich.
I must admit I have been impressed with Laudrup’s signings so far. If the Dane can sign Redmond and Bony then it really would be an impressive summer, even if the Swans did not bring any other players in.
Laudrup is known for his shrewdness in the transfer market and it looks like he could be at it again this summer.
It will be very difficult for Michael Laudrup and his team to improve on last season’s performance. Most Premier League teams will strengthen their teams ahead of the new season.
The teams that finished above Swansea last season will be hoping for a repeat next season, if not an improvement. Expectations amongst the Swansea fans have to be tempered and surely, another finish in the top ten of the Premier League would be a realistic aim next season.
However, the future looks bright for Swansea City Football Club. The club have moved forward leaps and bounds in the last few years. With the right signings this summer Swansea may just be able to surprise everybody and finish in the top six.
If they did though, the Swans will have had to have a fantastic season, as there are some teams in the top six that have resources that simply dwarf Swansea’s.
What are the expectations at Swansea for next season?