What can we expect from Swansea for the 2016-17 Season?
A manager is often judged by the squad he puts together in the close season, particularly in his first full-season. However, it looks like we will not have that opportunity with Francesco Guidolin, as it has been widely stated that Guidolin will not be involved in transfers, it will all be down to Huw Jenkins and his team of scouts. A common occurrence in today's football world whereby club directors or their recruitment teams take this out of the hands of managers or coaches. We have all heard the rumblings, particularly after managers have been sacked for poor performances of their teams, when in fact they are not in charge of recruitment, so who is to blame?
Over the past seasons, Jenkins and co have delved into the transfer market with a mix of success and noticeable failure. The transfer of Eder to Lille is one of many failures, and along with Bafetimbi Gomis, Itay Shechter, Alvaro Vazquez, Franck Tabanou and others, have all failed to shine in the Premier League. Only Wilfried Bony and Michu have “stepped up to the plate” in recent years, even then, Michu was the big surprise for his golascoring. Where does all this lead too? Basically, there is a world of difference between a professional opinions over that of a non-professional opinions and the in-depth knowledge of professional football. Of course a number of well-respected managers and coaches make mistakes also, look at Louis van Gaal and his signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United.
So what do we expect for Swansea next season in terms of who goes and who is brought in? Those still at the club, as mentioned above, we can expect to see the probable departures, along with the already departed Eder, of Gomis, Tabanou and Gerhard Tremmel. We can also probably expect the likes of Kyle Bartley, Marvin Emnes, and probably one or two others to leave for new clubs. At this time of year we can also expect the so-called bigger clubs coming in to poach our better players, so can we see the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew leaving for more lucrative deals and glory elsewhere?
At the moment, the tabloids are full of rumours, no difference there than previous seasons! But what can we expect at Swansea? As Guidolin has stated, he told Huw Jenkins the type of players he wants; so what are his type of players? In the past he has been known to use three centre halves, so can we expect a signing there? Probably yes, but perhaps a right back of a bigger stature, a player over 6-feet with the likes of Gregory van der Wiel, a Dutch international Right-back currently with Paris Saint Germain. That is filling the position last season occupied by Angel Rangel, and Kyle Naughton. It certainly looked like the later was not fancied too much by Guidolin, and Rangel is getting on in years. Gregory van der Weil will certainly fit into a style of play favoured by Guidolin with three Centre-halves.
Midfield is another area that needs boosting and if, as expected, Guidolin plays his three Centre-halves, a Defensive Midfielder should be one of his priorities. Swansea have played Leon Britton, Jack Cork and Ki Sung-yueng in that position, which for me is a specialised position, particularly if playing with three at the back. You don’t want this player being pulled out of position and wandering too far from in-front of the back three. One player who is an example of such a specialist is Gary Medel, ex-Cardiff City. Another area that needs looking at is a creative Midfield-player, perhaps one who can also play wide on the right but has defensive qualities in addition, something which neither Modou Barrow nor Jefferson Montero have.
That brings us to the Centre-forward position, last season held by a number of players, some expected to depart before the 2016-17 season. One name associated with Swansea in the past, and be again, is that of Bas Dost a six-foot, five-inch Centre-forward playing for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. He has scored 36 goals in 80 games for Wolfsburg, where he signed from SC Heerenveen of the Eredivisie, scoring 45 goals in 65 games there. Because of his stature he is the ideal player when only utilising one up-front.
So, if Jenkins and company can bring in the right players, with ability, the willingness the play and also players with football intelligence; as well as Guidolin guiding the Swansea team as he did at Udinese, and the likes, we perhaps can look forward to a less frustrating season than last.