Team: Swansea City
Manager: Michael Laudrup
Upsides: Michael Laudrup set some lofty standards in his first year in charge of the Swans, and this season was always going to shape up as a much harder slog. However, the transfer period has been a good one for the Welsh outfit. No significant players have left the club and some low-key – yet super impressive – signings have come in. Both Amat and Canas clearly have some good pedigree and look like they will be added to Laudrup’s basket of astute signings from La Liga. Meanwhile, Wilifried Bony and Jonjo Shelvey were perhaps the two best players on the field in Swansea’s 4-0 win over Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie. Shelvey’s season will be of particular interest to Liverpool supporters. If he can blossom into the player that he has been hinting at becoming, there might be a few Merseysiders wondering about the one that got away.
Oh and Michu. That guy is a freakin’ gun.
Downsides: Swansea have a good squad, but its depth will be tested by their Europa League participation. Recent history has shown us that it can be a bit of a burden for mid-tier English sides. A similar finish to last season, as well as some cup runs, will be classed a success for Laudrup’s side.
Ins: Jernade Meade (FC Arsenal), Wilfried Bony (Vitesse), Jonjo Shelvey (FC Liverpool), Alejandro Pozuelo (Real Betis Balompie), Alexander Gogic (Olympiakos Piraus U20), Gregor Zabret (NK Domzale), Jordi Amat (RCD Espanyol), Jose Alberto Canas (Real Betis Balompie)
Outs: Kemy Agustien (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alan Tate (Yeovil Town – Loan), Mark Gower (Charlton Athletic), Kyle Bartley (Birmingham City – Loan), David Cornell (St. Mirren FC – Loan), Dwight Tiendalli (Free)
The Blog FC Predicts: 9th. Too good to be sucked into the relegation fight, whilst participating in the Europa League will affect any push further up the table.
How wrong are we? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!