By Matthew Jacob
Now that the dust has settled on another summer of transfer dealings at Swansea City, we have the opportunity to reflect on what has actually been achieved.
First and foremost we kept our goalscorer, Wilfried Bony. Some may say against the odds, given that the big Ivorian is considered to be one of the hottest strikers available in the market place, who won't be cup tied in a European competition come January.
Allegedly carrying a release clause in his contract I, along with the rest of the Jack Army, held my breath as the deadline day clock ticked down to 11pm. Would anyone test our resolve with a bid in excess of £20 million? (Think about that for a second, twenty million pounds for a Swansea City forward... how times have changed!). Thankfully that bid didn't come. He remains our number ten, and personally, I believe that to be our best bit of business.
Additions have come all over the pitch though, and have significantly improved the squad. Lukasz Fabianski looks to be an absolute steal, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has given our midfield not only additional flair but a focal point to channel all our good play through.
The jet-heeled Jefferson Montero offers another option in the wide areas, while we also sorted a new deal for Ki Sung Yueng, and recruited Bafetimbi Gomis, again on a free - more shrewd business by the club.
However, despite all this success, there were areas that, for me at least, were not addressed. Hands up if you honestly feel we have competition for Angel Rangel in that squad?
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The Spaniard is arguably the club's most loyal servant following the likes of Leon Britton, Alan Tate, and the boss himself, Garry Monk. It is almost certain that he has given us the best years of his career and at 32 it wouldn't be unfair to suggest that this season may be his last as a real quality option at right back.
That is not to suggest that Rangel hasn't been a superb servant for the club, and the way he has started this season has more than confirmed he still has what it takes to compete effectively at the top.
The question still remains though: where do Swansea City go when Rangel cannot bomb on past the winger and put a cross in? Or when he can't beat a winger for pace and cover?
This leads me back to the transfer window, and probably the only disappointment for me was the club failing to land a right back to first and foremost challenge Rangel for that spot, but also to provide effective cover for the former Terrassa man.
Dwight Tiendalli could be forced into action should the need arise but is naturally a left sided defender, while another summer recruit in Stephen Kingsley has also been earmarked for left back, and is seen as a firm development player for the time being.
Neil Taylor, who has shown signs of getting back to his best following his start to the season, has played at right back for Team GB but again is a more natural left sided player. For me, this leaves us with Jazz Richards as our only solid right back after Rangel.
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Jazz Richards has been at Swansea City a considerable time. Following his professional debut in 2009 he's had loan spells with Huddersfield and Crystal Palace before signing a new contract with the Swans last year (one which will take him up to June 2016).
The local boy is seen as a brilliant deputy right back and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see him step up and become first choice in that role once Rangel eventually starts to wane. Having players come through our youth system and into the first team is something Swansea City have had considerable success with in years past, namely Joe Allen and Ben Davies who both moved on to bigger clubs, while Josh Sheehan is slowly breaking into the first team.
Now is the time for Richards to really push on. If he is to be Rangel's successor, it has to happen soon or it won't happen at all.
For me, this season and next could see Rangel's time as a first team player come to an end, but for the time being I see no better option. Frankly, we're very lucky to have a player of Rangel's considerable talent in our team already, and I hope he continues those overlapping runs for a little while yet.