Swansea may have broken the mould in their first two seasons in the Premier League, maintaining a comfortable mid-table position across both campaigns as well as securing the League Cup and a place in Europe for the first time in decades, but Michael Laudrup’s men appear to have failed in their attempt to keep momentum going in the run-in to the campaign’s conclusion.
Defeats against the likes of West Brom, Arsenal and Tottenham as well as a disappointing draw at Norwich has deemed the aftermath of the Welsh club’s League Cup victory as a failure. The Swans have failed to pick up a win since overturning Newcastle with a narrow 1-0 scoreline on March 2.
Swansea’s status as a Premier League is almost certainly safe for this season, so you might think a lapse in form can be afforded, and possibly even expected, but a run of poor results could prove disastrous not on the pitch, but when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
Michu, Ashley Williams, Chico and a number of other Swansea mainstays have already vowed their future to the south Wales outfit, but few have signed contracts to back this up. Low morale, which can be easily achieved with a few bad results, could be the tipping point that may cause players to leave come July and August.
Europa League competition next season is now a certainty, but for players like Leon Britton, Michu and Nathan Dyer, this can be achieved with a large number of other clubs that might be gunning for them in the window.
A turnaround in form, starting with a home victory over Southampton come April 20 as well as good results over Chelsea and Manchester City in the future weeks could prove crucial to keeping the players that have made Swansea the success they have been this season.
Laudrup will of course need a back-up plan just in case players leave in the summer, however, and the Dane has been linked with Real Betis midfielder Jose Canas and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku. The Swans manager has yet to explicitly admit he is targeting either, but when talking with the South
Financially, Swansea are in good nick in the run up to the opening of the transfer window, having recently announced a £15.9m profit for the six months up to the end of November 2012, almost £10m more than the club reported for the same period in 2011.
Ideally, picking up an undiscovered talent for a bargain fee like the signing of Michu in 2012 will be a huge boost to Swansea’s ambitions in pushing forward as a mainstay Premier League outfit as well as a force to be reckoned with in Europe.
Signings like Michu only ever come around once in a blue moon however, so targeting experienced yet not overly expensive players in the summer might be the best port of call for Laudrup.
Money might not be a huge problem for the Liberty Stadium club at present, but keeping a cool head during the summer window will be key, especially if players need to be sold and replaced in a short period of time.
The pressure may be off on the field until August, but Laudrup is soon to discover that the work in the office and meeting rooms is just about to begin.
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