Thursday 28 November 2019

What do Swansea need in January to reignite promotion hopes?

Swansea's recent run of results of two draws and one loss have highlighted just how competitive the second tier of British football is.

And, currently in danger of dropping out of the Championship play-offs, the Swans certainly need some new impetus in the New Year. But, in which positions?

Six time-capped England Under-21s international and loanee star Freddie Woodman is excelling in goal. No wonder then that his parent club Newcastle United did not allow the youngster to permanently leave and tied him to a contract until the end of 2021.

In defence it's another story; the injury to Mike van der Hoorn in Swansea's draw at Huddersfield affected the Swans greatly. And, despite youngster Ben Cabango coming in for some high praise on his first league appearance, the injury opened up a can of worms.

Joe Rodon has already been sidelined for months with an ankle injury and van der Hoorn's sidelining has highlighted the defensive frailties within the squad. Cabango has stepped in admirably, but being thrust into the limelight in a pivotal part of the season as the Christmas period approaches, is probably not what boss Steve Cooper had in mind.

Swansea have no issues on the right or left side of defence wiith Kyle Naughton and Connor Roberts rotating marvelously on the right and Jake Bidwell and Declan John performing admirably on the left.

Last year, the absence of Leroy Fer meant that Swansea lacked that engine-type player, the one that thrives playing in the gruelling Championship. And, since his transfer to Feyenoord, the Welsh club are perhaps missing the "hard man" in midfield.

One thing is certain, though, Cooper is blessed with wingers and strikers. Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Kristoffer Peterson, Jordon Garrick, Bersant Celina and even Andre Ayew have all tinkered in the wide positions in 2019. Plus, Celina, Yan Dhanda, George Byers and Aldo Kalulu have excelled in the "playmaker" role.

Ayew and Borja Baston have been superb up front too; the duo have been involved in 17 goals in the Championship so far with back-up Sam Surridge scoring five himself. Whilst Swansea have been linked with other forwards, it would not be a disaster if Cooper continued with the same frontmen.

So, the goalkeeper issue seems to have been sorted and with widemen and forwards in abundance, Swansea have a tremendous basis from which to mount their Premier League charge. A defender and midfielder are perhaps, however, imperative if the Swans want to reach the top tier, two seasons after falling into the Championship.

1 comment:

  1. Defensive Centre midfield (as we have for 5 seasons)
    Manager who knows what he's doing.