Swansea City still need to replace former captain Ashley Williams and last season’s top scorer Andre Ayew, according to manager Bob Bradley.
Williams has made over 300 appearances for Swansea, but moved to Everton this summer after a long bidding process.
Ayew scored 12 Premier League goals for Swansea last season in his first year in the league, but was sold to West Ham for a reported £20m.
What did Bradley say?
“All Swansea supporters know that they were important players last year,” said Bradley, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live.
“When players like that leave, not only do you lose the talent they had on the field, but both of those players were strong figures in the dressing room.”
Since Williams left, Leon Britton has stepped up as the club captain, while Jack Cork has captained the side on the field primarily this season.
Will Swansea sign replacements in January?
The American boss said he would like to add some more talent to his squad in the January transfer window, but ruled out “surgery” but he does believe that they need to improve themselves.
“We’ve had some good discussions already and without a doubt I think we can add a couple of important pieces.” Bradley added.
Swansea signed Aflie Mawson and Mike van der Hoorn in the summer, but Jordi Amat and Federico Fernandez have been the regular starting centre-half pairing this season, despite their poor form.
Mawson is believed to be an important asset for the future, and recently made his England Under-21 debut, but it is thought that a commanding, experienced defender should be the club’s priority in January.
An Ayew replacement?
Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins released a statement after the summer transfer window shut, reflecting on the business his side conducted and didn’t mention Ayew by name in it.
He did however cite the return of Nathan Dyer from his Leicester loan, while Modou Barrow making a step up it seemed like they were Ayew’s replacement.
With more goals coming in through the additions of Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston, fans seemed content with how the club dealt with losing Ayew.
Swansea’s main problem last season was scoring goals, so even replacing Ayew’s tally (12 goals), more firepower needed to come in, which didn’t happen.
Swansea needed another goalscorer in addition to the strikers and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Thankfully, Leroy Fer has stepped up so far this season but his goalscoring form should regress to the mean. Fer has six goals in 12 games this season, and managed nine goals in his previous 69 Premier League games.
The numbers problem
In the five seasons Swansea have been in the Premier League, they have scored 42, 46, 54, 47 and 44 goals in each season. It’s hard to imagine Swansea reaching these levels this season.
Swansea have 16 goals through 13 games. Which looks fine, thanks to the anomaly that was Swansea 5-4 Crystal Palace, but numbers can lie.
The Welsh side had been on a trajectory of just under a goal a game this season, which is relegation form, especially with a defence weaker than the club has seen since they were promoted to the Premier League.
A wide forward is still needed to replace Ayew, and relieve some of the pressure on Sigurdsson, Llorente and Baston in order for Swansea to avoid relegation.