So the inevitable has happened at last and Gylfi Sigurdsson has finally signed for Everton for a fee in the region of £45 million. In the end it’s reached a satisfactory conclusion for all concerned, although you can’t help feel it should have been wrapped up several weeks ago. I would be reluctant to do business with Everton again after this but that’s for another blog.
Firstly I will give credit for to the club, for once we have finally got true value for one of our prized assets. For too long we’ve always accepted the first offer on the table when if we were to dig our heals in we’d receive a sum which reflects the players value more accurately.
Andre Ayew is a good example. People will say we had him for free and made a £20.5 million profit and that he was poor last term. Both facts are irrelevant. Just because we didn’t pay a fee for him doesn’t mean we should lower the asking price and the fact last season wasn’t great for him is the chance you take.
The season before he was our top scorer and similar players like Yannick Bolasie went for £10 million more to Everton and Sadio Mane went for a whopping £14 million more. That tells you we were massively short changed.
Wilfried Bony is another such example. £27 million was a good fee but Christian Benteke went for £32 million a few months later. And who’s that? Because Aston Villa said if you want him you’ll have to pay his release clause rather than just taking whatever offer was on the table.
But it now appears that at long last the penny has finally dropped in SA1. The Swans have turned down numerous bids for our Icelandic playmaker rather than accepting the first £32 million offer from Everton which is what we would have done in the past.
Why we have changed tack no one can be certain but it’s long overdue. I suspect it has something to do with Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien rather than Huw Jenkins which if that is the case does give us some encouragement for the future.
But they must now make all of that money made from this sale available for transfers. Sigurdsson was easily our best player and on sheer ability is the best Swansea City player of the Premier League era. Replacing him will be extremely difficult and will not come cheap, especially when the rest of the division now know we have just received a hefty transfer fee.
According to press reports it looks like we want to use that money to sign Joe Allen, Nacer Chadli and Wilfried Bony. All good players who would improve the squad but are they really what we need?
As much as I love Joe Allen I can’t help but feel we’ve missed the boat. At £13 million he was a steal, but not at double the price when we’ve already signed Roque Mesa and I don’t see him as a number 10. If we can ship Ki to Stoke as part of the deal and knock the price down a bit then this deal would be more appealing.
Chadli meanwhile is a better fit and can play behind a striker or on the wing, this deal should be a priority. Again it was a deal that could have been done 12 months ago and he will most likely cost a lot more now than he would have then.
The case for Bony doesn’t really convince me either, only 10 goals since leaving us and we have Fernando Llorente, Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew so we’re well stocked in up front. For me the Ivorian has to prove himself again, I’d be happy to take him on loan and then weigh it up in the transfer window or next summer but paying around £12 million for him appears to be risky.
If those three arrive then we would still be short of quality in other areas. Right back and another number10/winger along with Chadli would be needed to give us more options and ideally I’d like a centre back as well.
A season defining two weeks lay ahead for Swansea City. If our recruitment goes well then we can hope to be pushing towards the mid table positions. If it goes badly a real struggle awaits us. But one things for sure, lack of funds now can’t be used as an excuse. There should be plenty of money to fund transfers after the Sigurdsson sale, let’s hope we spend it and spend it wisely.