Talking Tactics: Swans' transfer deals
After the transfer window closed this week, football stats experts WhoScored.com analyse the Swans’ new arrivals.
It was a busy end to deadline day for Swansea City as the club strived to push two late deals over the finish line.
Wilfried Bony’s return to the Liberty Stadium is a huge boost to the side, with the Ivorian netting the joint-most Premier League goals from open-play (17) in the club’s history.
However, it was the loan capture of Renato Sanches that wowed the masses. Chelsea and Liverpool had both been linked with a move for the Portuguese youngster as Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp aimed to firm up their respective midfields.
Swansea, though, won the race to secure his services on deadline day as Sanches and manager Paul Clement link up once more.
The two worked together briefly during their respective time together at Bayern Munich, with Clement’s relationship with Carlo Ancelotti reaping the benefits.
Despite a lack of game time following his move to the Bundesliga last summer, Sanches is still widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects on the continent and Swansea’s capture of the 20-year-old is one of the best deals of the transfer window.
His technical qualities in possession and willingness to bring the ball forward from midfield are two traits that Clement can maximise, while his ability to pick out a team-mate has helped him gain a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘passing’.
Sanches’ standing also means he should adjust to the physical rigours of the Premier League with consummate ease as Clement looks to guide the Swans to a higher finish than last season.
While Sanches is the high-profile signing at the Liberty Stadium, he isn’t the only midfielder Swansea have acquired in the off season.
Roque Mesa and Sam Clucas both signed on in south west Wales from Las Palmas and Hull City, with the duo offering vision and tenacity in the middle of the park. While the Spaniard is being eased into life in the Premier Leayue by his manager, he swells a competitive midfield and bolsters Clement’s options in the middle of the park.
As the club’s big money summer signing, Clucas boasts the necessary Premier League experience to help Swansea consolidate a top-flight place.
He was arguably Hull’s best player, despite their relegation last season, and his capture is an astute one for the Swans.
The arrival of Tammy Abraham was also a solid signing for Swansea, with the teenage English forward impressing in the Championship last season by netting 23 goals.
He scored Swansea’s first Premier League goal of the season in a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace last weekend and showed his potential and quality in the opening matches of the campaign.
The departures of Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson will have hurt the club, but Clement has invested well in the squad of the wake of their moves to Tottenham and Everton.
Bony’s a striker familiar with the comings and goings of Swansea and can play as the lone striker, while Abraham will hone his trade off the Ivorian.
Mesa, Clucas and Sanches boost an already strong midfield that includes Leon Britton, Tom Carroll, Leroy Fer and Ki Sung-Yueng, with each offering an alternative option in the middle of the park.
With Clement deploying various formations, the players mentioned are the ideal captures for a Swans side looking for a top-half finish this term.