There can be no doubt that Swansea City are stronger now than they were 24 hours before the transfer window closed. With the arrival of Renato Sanches, one of the brightest prospects in world football and the return of goal scoring hero Wilfried Bony the Jack Army are more confident of a successful campaign than at the start of the season.
But we still haven’t completely plugged some of the gaping holes in our squad and that does remain a concern, especially when we have once again made a considerable profit in the transfer market this summer.
No defender has arrived over the summer while Stephen Kingsley has departed and with Paul Clement now favouring playing three at the back we are now only one injury away from having to either field a youngster or asking another player to fill in at centre half due to Kyle Bartley’s injury.
Right back has been a concern over the last couple of seasons and despite us being linked with Santiago Arias nothing has materialised in that position so we must hope Kyle Naughton can perform at a good level at least until the New Year.
Moving into midfield and we now have an embarrassment of riches. Roque Mesa, Sam Clucas and Renato Sanches have all arrived for a combined total of over £30 million and with Leon Britton, Leroy Fer, Tom Carroll and Ki Sung Yeung all still here it does beg the question why someone wasn’t allowed to leave, preferably Ki as he’s been mediocre since winning player of the year in 2014/15.
Despite us having a plethora of options in the middle of the park I still worry where that creative influence will come from. Most of those players are capable of creating chances but nowhere near as consistently as Gylfi Sigurdsson did. Nacer Chadli would have been a good replacement for him but Sanches looks most likely to be asked to fill in that role although he usually plays deeper than a number 10. Wherever he plays though he’s likely to be a star for us, this is potentially one of the best players of his generation and to have him with us for a season is a mouth-watering prospect.
Chadli would have also been a good acquisition out wide and this remains the weakest area of the side. The fact no one has arrived suggests we will be sticking with 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 diamond over the coming months, not necessarily a bad thing but we should really have signed one player in this position to give us another option and shipped out the useless Jefferson Montero.
Now to up front, we are undoubtedly stronger than at the beginning of the window but maybe not as strong as at the start of deadline day. Wilfried Bony is probably a better long term prospect than Fernando Llorente but the Spaniard was a big player for us last season and he’s being replaced by someone who has done very little since leaving here two and a half years ago.
I was a massive fan of Wilf first time around and last summer I would have snapped your hand off to have him back. But after an underwhelming spell at Stoke I would have preferred to sign him on loan as he needs to prove himself all over again. Hopefully he can develop a good understanding with Tammy Abraham who will only get better as the season progresses.
So overall we have more options and won’t be as reliant on two individuals as we were with Sigurdsson and Llorente last term but have those options adequately replaced our best two players? It remains to be seen, for what’s it worth I don’t see us going down but we will need to sign another couple in January to plug those holes we failed to fill over the summer.