Paul Clement had an incredible last season and he wants to ensure that he puts on a good show for 2017/2018, by improving on what he has already achieved. To make this happen, the manager of Swansea City will need to have the best possible players in his team. Irrespective of that, he has guaranteed that he will not be overspending or wasting the money handed to him for transfers by the club owners.
The 2017/18 season is already set to be a thrilling one and the competition is getting tougher. I’ve seen a big shift in odds already, one example I found is with the BetVictor premier league odds which are giving a good sense for how the season could go. The premier league specials will give you an insight into who’s likely to finish where. The Swans are at 9/4 to be relegated, so let’s hope they go against that and finish high.
Last weekend, Clement had a meeting with Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien who are the majority shareholders and Huw Jenkins, the chairman of Swansea City FC. In the meeting, plans for the summer transfer window following the lock-up of the club’s Premier League status were decided.
After the meeting, it is believed that Clement and Jenkins are on the same page as both believe that the club does not require a major overhaul over the summer. Swansea had a splendid second half in the last season where they managed to pick up 29 points.
This is the most points the Swans have managed to gain during the second half of a season since they arrived in the Premier League back in 2011. Hence, the club would only be looking to improve on what they currently have.
The former Bayern Munich assistant is keen to sign a few players and bring in new faces that will add depth to his squad. It seems that Clement is hoping that the efforts Swansea made in the winter transfer window and the second half of the season will reflect positively in the upcoming window.
Furthermore, to ensure that the club gets the best possible players available in the market, the Swansea City manager announced that he might use his connection with other clubs.
For the Swans, the last season was nothing short of miraculous due to Paul Clement’s outstanding job which saved the club from being relegated into the Championship. Clement’s men picked up 29 points and avoided relegation. However, it is important that he signs fresh players to strengthen the team. If Swansea is to avoid another relegation battle, experienced professionals would be a good addition.
Clement has a good relationship with other clubs owing to his long career. He has worked with Bayern Munich, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid. The Swansea City manager disclosed that he would use his contacts in these clubs and elsewhere to sign quality players over the summer transfer window.
In an interview with Wales Online, Paul Clement has been quoted as saying, “You always try to use the contacts and the knowledge you have. I have contacts at all the clubs where I’ve worked – Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich – and they are really good people. But it is not as easy as it sounds when you try to attract really good players from that level to a club like ours. The best chance would be a loan or a young player and maybe that isn’t the right answer.”
It is believed that several big players who are currently playing for Arsenal, Manchester City and Southampton, etc will be hunting for new deals once their contracts end in the upcoming months.
The most high-profile player that will surely be looking for a new deal in the Premier League or somewhere else is Yaya Toure of Manchester City.
It has been speculated that Pep Guardiola is unlikely to offer him a renewal once his contract ends. However, Swansea signing him is more improbable than City offering him another deal. To be fair, the Swans owners could arrange birthday cakes for Toure, but his high wage demands would be an issue for the club!
A few other City players such as Bacary Sagna, Jesus Navas and Gael Clichy have been released by the club. Swansea does not need Clichy as they already have a few talented left backs in the team. On the other hand, they do need a right back for next season. Sagna could fill in the vacant position, but at the age of 34 he would be too much of a risk, especially if Swansea are planning for a long-term contract.
Swansea does have many wingers as well but they could greatly benefit from a player like Jesus Navas if finances were not an issue.
Another player out of reach of the Swans but available in the coming market is Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard is one of the great playmakers who will be receiving attention from other clubs.
The primary concern of Swansea is to sign a keeper, especially since Gerhard Tremmel has been released and Mark Birighitti will most likely leave the club. The Swans would be looking to sign Wayne Hennessey of Crystal Palace who will soon be out of his contract.The Eagles, now managed by Frank de Boer, might have plans to offload the Welshman, so a bid for the 30-year-old Hennessey would be a good buy. The question is of course, whether he can battle Lukasz Fabianski to become the number one club keeper.
Swansea are also eyeing a Southampton defender, Martin Cáceres, who signed a short-term deal with the team in February last season. Featuring over 50 times with the Celtic, Juventus and Leicester City, Cáceres is a solid centre-half. The Swans and Watford are both monitoring the situation closely.
Paul Clement mentioned that he needs an experienced and solid back line going into the next season and Caceres is the perfect fit. For the right full back, Clement could attempt to sign Cuco Martina whose deal has ended with Southampton. However, Everton boss Ronald Koeman also wants to sign this Dutchman.
If Clement wants a short-term fix, he can persuade Álvaro Arbeloa to join the Swans after his release from West Ham. The manager knows Arbeloa from his time with Real Madrid.
Paul Clement has also shown his interest in Chelsea legend John Terry. If the club could manage the wages or facilitate Terry in some way, he can be an ideal mentor to Alfie Mawson and Federico Fernandez. Imagine Alfie Mawson playing and training with the likes of John Terry, one of the best defenders in the world. The premier league odds that the Swans will sign Terry are 20/1.
Swansea are also heavily linked with former Everton striker Arouna Kone. He could be an excellent addition as a striker in Clement’s squad with his vast Premier League experience.
Another player who Clement can attempt to sign is Jan Kirchoff, as it is likely that he will leave Sunderland due to their relegation from the Premier League. The 26-year-old centre-back has failed to be at his maximum potential due to injuries while playing with Sunderland. However, the former Bayern Munich and Schalke player could adapt very well to Clement’s system.
The Swans are currently battling other Premier League clubs in getting the right price for Gylfi Sigurdsson who intends to leave. The premier league odds that Sigurdsson stays with the club are 11/4.Swansea City are also in a race to sign Henry Onyekuru, one of the most wanted Nigerian wingers. Currently playing for Eupen, the 19-year-old was remarkable last season where he scored 20 goals in 36 appearances for the club.
Reports suggest that the Belgian club will sell the teenager for the right offer. Onyekuru is looking to join one of the Premier League clubs for around £7 million, but there could be issues in getting a work permit for him.
With many clubs trying to sign the Nigerian winger, Paul Clement already has multiple options in his squad: Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer, Jefferson Montero, Luciano Narsingh, Modou Barrow, Jordan Ayew and the promising youngster Daniel James.
However, there is no guarantee that all seven players will be playing for Swansea City next season.