Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has revealed that the club turned down huge bids for Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente and Federico Fernandez in the January transfer window.
The chairman revealed this news in his programme notes ahead of the win over Leicester City on Sunday.
What did Jenkins say?
Jenkins said: “There were quite a few media reports in January about rival clubs looking at some of our players.
“I can confirm there was big interest in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente and Federico Fernandez, in particular,” Jenkins continued. “And that substantial offers were turned down during the window for all three of them because we felt they were vital to our cause.”
Jenkins continued to state that while the people behind the scenes work very hard to bring players into the club, it’s also vital that Swansea have a stable playing structure to assist the recruitment staff.
He said that in the long term, this relationship will improve the way that Swansea operate.
What would have happened if Jenkins caved in?
In the past, Swansea haven’t been the type of club to force their stars to stay. Andre Ayew, Wilfried Bony and Scott Sinclair are just some of the names who have looked to better their careers elsewhere, and the club never really spent a lot of effort trying to keep them around.
However, they haven’t been in this situation before. On 31st December 2016 Swansea were dead last on 12 points and four points adrift of Crystal Palace in 17th.
Sigurdsson and Llorente have been particularly crucial to the points they have picked up so far. The pair have scored 16 times in the Premier League this season, over half of Swansea’s goals. The next highest goalscorer is Leroy Fer on six (Sigurdsson and Llorente on eight each) but the Dutchman hasn’t scored since the 5-4 win over Palace in November.
Swansea actually have a decent depth chart when it comes to strikers. Borja Baston has been unlucky in terms of playtime, he was injured during pre-season and has only completed 90 minutes twice this season. He was left out of the squad entirely against Leicester, but there’s still a good striker in there.
Jordan Ayew is a promising signing, while Oliver McBurnie has been scoring bagfuls for the under-23 squad and recently won the Premier League 2 Player of the Month for January. Losing Llorente wouldn’t have been ideal, but it could have been manageable.
Selling Sigurdsson would have condemned Swansea’s fate in the EFL Championship next season. Swansea have scored 31 goals this season, and 16 (eight goals, eight assists) of those have come directly through Sigurdsson. Then you get down the rabbit hole of goals that Sigurdsson has affected that don’t count as a goal or an assist.
At the start of the window, many fans wouldn’t have been against Fernandez leaving, but under Paul Clement he has been a revelation alongside Alfie Mawson.
The trio look to continue their good form against league leaders Chelsea on 25th February at Stamford Bridge.