Swansea must reinforce its squad in January to retain top tier status
Swansea City is experiencing ill fortune this season in the Premier League. Having accumulated just 12 points in 16 games, its bad run has seen it drop into the relegation zone.
Swans may be in worse condition come the New Year. December games against Manchester City, rejuvenated Everton, Liverpool, and Tottenham loom.
Fans are beginning to grow impatient with manager Paul Clement’s inability to produce results. They seem to have forgotten he is the reason they are still in the top tier.
Problems have arisen from a weak defense and impotent attack. The Welsh side has conceded 18 league goals. It's found the opposing goal half that many times.
A major reason has been beyond Clement's control. Swansea's board relieved star players Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente of their contracts late in the transfer window, without signing adequate replacements. Tammy Abraham has struggled to score. Wilfried Bony is just lately showing form.
Acquiring Portuguese playmaker Renato Sanches on deadline day was celebrated. Clement had worked with him under Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern. The 20-year has had little impact at the club, however, niggling injuries contributing to his poor form.
Roque Mesa moved from Spanish club Las Palmas, but has only featured in three league games for the Swans. He has only been able to watch his side sink like a rock in the table.
Clement has admitted Swansea needs to reinforce its squad in January. The former Derby County boss’ signings last January played a big part in the side's survival. Martin Olsson, Tom Carroll, and Jordan Ayew all justified their transfer fee. Luciano Narsingh added a much-needed strength to a side that was sorely lacking in that department before his arrival.
Can Clement fill the holes in his own squad as deftly as he did his predecessors'? With the Swans in dire need to step up their game, the January transfer window will be critical.
The Liberty Stadium has already been mentioned as a loan destination for Liverpool forward Dominic Solanke, although a deal now looks unlikely. There is also word on the grapevine former Swansea player Andre Ayew is set for a return from West Ham.
Swansea’s first team squad has only four senior forwards. Oliver McBurnie, who has rarely seen the pitch following his failed loan switch to Barnsley, is included in the quartet.
Tammy Abraham has been one of Swansea’s best performers this season. His outstanding skills earned him a call-up to the England national team last month, but he has not found the net since mid-October.
Wilfried Bony, on the other hand, had failed to fulfill his potential since a deadline day arrival from Stoke City. Then he scored the only Swans goal in each of the side's last two matches, a loss at Stoke and victory over West Brom.
Swansea’s biggest problem is reluctance to spend. They took in over £50 million from Sigurdsson and Llorente's summer sales. Some went towards Sam Clucas and Bony. More must be turned over, however.
Skillful players can be found for a bargain price, if you look under enough stones, but in an era when big spending is the order of the day, it will be quite difficult to replace quality like Sigurdsson and Llorente without splashing the cash.
Four points from their last 22 does not bode well for Swansea. Without reinforcing the squad in January, whether Clement remains at the helm or a new man takes over, its fans could well be audience to Championship football next season.