The Premier League is described as one of, if not the best league in the world. So, surely players would drop everything to be a part of a team in such a prestigious league? Stuck in the relegation zone with only four wins this season, it might be a bit more difficult for Swansea City.
The man they’ve chosen to take them forward is Paul Clement who boasts an impressive CV that includes the likes of Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and most recently, Bayern Munich. Although all those have been as an assistant manager, Clement also had a pretty successful reign at Derby County last season, guiding them to 5th in the Championship.
Much like Gary Rowett’s departure from Birmingham City a few weeks ago, the footballing world became was shocked when Clement was dismissed. However, spending upwards of 25 million pounds and seven games without a win could have played a part.
Nevertheless, this Swansea job is a clean slate for the 44 year-old. He’s got a challenge on his hands, but with the right mentality, anything is possible. Using his connections with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, Clement can address the current problem that his new side faces – the defence.
There was a massive improvement on Tuesday night in the win over Crystal Palace, especially from Alfie Mawson who went on to score and put in a man of the match performance. However, the Swans have only kept three clean sheets this season, and the addition of some defensive back-up could be the key to success.
Who could the Swans target?
Clement could make a move for a young Real Madrid defender. With Fernando Llorente, Jordi Amat and Borja Baston all making the move from La Liga to the Premier League, fitting in wouldn’t be a problem.
Philipp Leinhart – Centre Back
At just 20 years old, Leinhart is the next big thing to come out of Spain. Signing for Real Madrid from Rapid Wien in 2014, the Austrian U21 international has come through the Madrid academy, making 35 appearances in the process.
His age might put some potential suitors off, but with Swansea’s current batch of centre-backs not performing miracles, Leinhart could be a short-term solution. Although if Clement did want to look at a permanent deal, it wouldn’t take much to convince Los Blanos, who signed him for a modest £700,000.
Andreas Christensen – Versatile Defender
Currently out on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, Christensen is highly regarded by Chelsea and has the potential to become a world class player. Swansea would have to fork out a lot of money to prize Christensen away from the Blues, and would have to wait until 2018 to sign him, as his loan deal in Germany lasts for two years.
Clement’s Chelsea contacts would give him the edge when trying to sign the Dane, but its whether the Swans are ready to splash the cash.
Ola Aina – Full Back
Aina is another defender that Antonio Conte rates highly, making the bench frequently since the Italian took over in West London. However, the 20 year-old has only made two first team appearances since he signed a professional contract in July.
Despite Angel Rangel coming on and getting the winner last night, he and Kyle Naughton lack a bit of pace and attacking threat. Aina has speed by the bucket-load and would provide an extra dimension going forward. Desperate to get some first team football, a loan move to South Wales could appeal to the youngster, with first team football a real possibility under Clement.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Midfielder
Standing at a mighty 6ft 3inches, Loftus-Cheek would provide that extra presence in midfield. We don’t know how Swansea will line-up when under full control from Clement, but having the England U21 international alongside Leroy Fer would give the Swans a bit more stability in the centre of midfield.
With Chelsea considering whether to accept any loan offers for the youngster, the Swans will face competition from other Premier League clubs. Although Championship clubs such as Birmingham City and Derby County have also been linked with the Chelsea star.