36% Think Defence Needs Strengthening The Most
In a recent Vital Swansea poll, 36% voted that the defence needs strengthening the most this Summer.
Much has been said over the last few weeks as to what positions the club needed to strengthen during pre-season, with the defence often mentioned after last season's woeful record of conceding 70 goals.
While Huw Jenkins and head coach Paul Clement agreed that a 'squad overhaul' wasn't needed, 28% voted that every outfield position (Defence, Midfield and Attack) needed strengthening during the summer transfer window.
I'm sure many would agree that the spine of our team is Mawson, Sigurdsson and Llorente, while newcomer Mesa will hopefully live up to the hype and boost it, but that existing 'spine' could be vulnerable to being broken up as all three players have been linked with moves away. Sigurdsson, if you believe the reports, is on the verge of joining Everton for a £32m bid, while Llorente is still being chased by Chelsea, though I'm sure they should be looking at a bigger name signing following the sale of Diego Costa.
Mawson, too has been linked with a move to Spurs, despite only playing less than 6 months of Premier League football.
It's looking likely that at least one of those three main players will leave before the season starts - and it's crucial that we re-invest a large portion of the speculated £32m fee on a replacement and improving other positions.
The defence seems the obvious place to start, after last season's struggles and our existing lack of strength in depth across the 3 defensive positions. Angel Rangel isn't getting any younger to compete with right back Kyle Naughton. At left back, Stephen Kingsley is still slow developing and doesn't look ready to push Olsson for a place either. It's the same story at centre back too, Kyle Bartley and Mike van der Hoorn both lack experience and aren't proven at this level - and won't be threatening Mawson and Fernandez's first team positions anytime soon.
Looking at the midfield, only 18% voted that it needed strengthening more than any other position. Wingers are still lacking quality. Montero and Barrow simply cannot earn a regular starting place. Montero can't stay fit and Barrow - it's fair to say is a one-trick pony (pace) and went on loan last season when Clement was in charge.
New January signing Luciano Narsingh is still adjusting to the Premier League, but Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer are uninspiring options having been excellent servants in the past. I feel it's time for them to move on now, as Dyer has been linked with a move to Garry Monk's Middlesbrough.
Paul Clement may stick with the 4-3-1-2 formation that brought great success and was one of the key decisions late on that kept us up. If he does, then wingers won't be a priority this Summer, as it depends more on attacking full backs and two front-men working off a central midfielder. However, Sigurdsson's departure would leave a big hole in that key attacking position.
Currently, Clement has Jordan Ayew, Fernando Llorente and new loan signing Tammy Abraham available as forward options. Oli McBurnie too but the youngster has been linked with a loan move to a Championship club.
How do you see the Summer and next season panning out? Are you confident that the club can replace Sigurdsson if he does leave? Will we improve on last season's 15th place? Let us know what you think in the comments below...