If you thought it was going to be a summer of ten new signings... you clearly haven't been following Swansea City
for very long.
But in addition to not many signings being made, recent reports have suggested, somewhat surprisingly for me, that Michael Laudrup wants to trim the current 34 man squad down to a streamlined 22.
It's a bold move by the new manager, and something I can imagine may not have happened under Rodgers, but whether it does happen or not, it gives us a chance to take a look at the squad; what we can afford to lose, and what we definitely can't.
Erik Larsen, Laudrup's assistant, said in the week: "It's not the case that there's only room for 22. These things develop so if someone gets injured you can add more."
At least this means Laudrup hasn't gone crazy and is aware that some depth is needed.
It would be hard to speculate exactly who would go if Laudrup does have his way, mainly because I don't know what he has planned for the summer transfer window. He may well have two new strikers lined up, so keeping the likes of Luke Moore, Leroy Lita and Rory Donnelly would be pointless. However, as I say, nobody knows.
So, hypothetically, let's assume Ludrup will bring five new players to the club. Ideally these would be: a centre-back, a right/left back, a striker, an attacking midfielder or a winger, and a spare keeper. With those in mind, this is how I would trim the squad down to 22:
Swansea City (in association with ForzaSwansea.com
) 22-man squad:
New Goalkeeper #1
New CB #2
New LB #3
New CAM/Winger #4
Leroy Lita or Luke Moore
New Striker #5
You may notice that I've only listed 20 at the moment - I haven't mentioned Scott Sinclair and Stephen Dobbie. We'll move onto those two in a moment, but first, let's look at my choices.
While most are pretty straightforward and will not need justifying to the reasonable fan, you'll notice I've included Alan Tate
and Garry Monk
. Both are getting on in terms of stamina and quality, but Monk has proved he can cope in the Premier League, while Tate has also shown he can help out at times, and is useful cover for any position across the back four. For their lengthy service to the club they must be kept, at least for one more season.
is required as a back up keeper, while Kemy Agustien
has shown his worth and will surely feature more now that he is fit and Sigurdsson has buggered off. As for the Lita/Moore choice, we only need one of these underachievers and I'd edge towards Leroy Lita
personally - three decent strikers (including a new first choice ahead of Graham) would be enough under Swansea's system.
is one who stunned quite a few Swans fans by scoring the fastest Premier League goal for five seasons, in a rare appearance against Wolves last season. In that game he showed some flair and skill - enough to intrigue me to keep him around. He would need to prove something in the first half of the season though, or he should be gone by Christmas.
Before we get onto the list of who must leave the club, what about Sinclair and Dobbie?
was given an ultimatum by Swansea: sign or be sold. A choice I support because Sinclair would end up leaving for free otherwise. If we're being honest, he hasn't looked happy at the club in recent months. The winger has been linked with Fulham in the past few days, a move I'd support for £5million. It would be a shame to see him go, but if he does, Laudrup could use the space (and the cash) to buy a replacement winger.
Elsewhere, we all know the Stephen Dobbie
story. Amazing Championship player, not so hot when it comes to the Premier League. Will Laudrup gamble on his past abilities, or will he see him as a wage burden and not one for his streamlined squad?
So, if those are the ones we keep, who are the players that must go?
You'll agree that none on this list have really set the footballing world alight, and – if Laudrup has his way – these would most likely be the casualties.
It was a shame to put Ashley Richards
and Mark Gower
on the list, as Gower was relatively solid in the final Championship season and Richards is a Welsh talent that has shown some potential. But neither would worm their way into my 22 man squad.
Elsewhere, Curtis Obeng
and Darnel Situ
were brought to the club in an odd panic buying spree by Rodgers last season, and ended up tied up in contract chaos, so didn't feature apart from in the reserves. Rory Donnelly
seemed an interesting prospect, but if it's down to 22 he is going to have to go as he hasn't proved what he can do yet. Meanwhile, Fede Bessone
is just using up wages for doing nothing.
The youngsters are all obvious casualties – they may have potential, but don't have the experience. It would take a major disaster to see many of them featuring in the Premier League next season.
Hey, I could be wrong. Laudrup may hate the way Dyer moves and chose Bessone to be the new winger. He may think Vorm is overrated and give Tate another chance in goals. Who knows!?
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on my selection. Is it silly to keep Tate and Monk? Would you do all you can to keep Sinclair? Are both Lita and Moore worth holding onto? Is Obeng the answer we're actually looking for in defence?