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The Swansea City transfer strategy that everyone has to accept
Wednesday, 20th Apr 2022 13:31 by Keith Haynes

There are already a few murmurings of players of interest to other clubs as the swans season draws to a close. The last two games were proof if it were ever needed of certain acquisitions that will be required come the summer, and indeed the club still have players to ship out.

We already know the formula, it has been explained very clearly to all via Mark Allen the current sporting director at the “We have made no secret of that in the past, and we will make no secret of it moving forward. It is about realising the players who can help us get up the league, but also developing assets who could help the club economically. We are always mindful of those things, but the strategy is to identify young up and coming players and to purchase them where possible”

From within the structure swans fans will be disappointed to see Cameron Congreve leave the club on loan next season, he is a player with promise who is most certainly capable of filling one of the midfield slots for Martin next season. Promotion from within is key to the continued success of the academy in 2002 and 2023. The inclusion of Kristian O’ Leary in first team match day coaching roles and as an observer and mentor to Congreve and other players who have experienced the first team this season is crucial. He gets to see what Russell Martin and his coaching set up are more about, and also gets an insight into how his academy players adapt within a first team match day environment.

The real issue of concern has to be the first team goalkeeping role. Steven Brenda is still fancied by many as first choice, he is currently completing yet another loan, this time at Peterborough United. Even at second choice with Ben Hamer moving on in the summer he fills a spot for the swans. However, Andy Fisher who was signed from MK Dons in January hasn’t filled everyone with confidence. He first came to notice last year and was first reported by Swansea Independent as having completed his terms well before the January transfer window. This report from December 11th last year from a tried and tested source aided our confidence that Fisher was on his way.

⚽️Andy Fisher all but completed

It’s a shame then that Fisher has not displayed the confidence and competence we all thought he possessed to come into the side and be a true number one. This has led to the swans making certain inquiries with other clubs this year as to the availability of goalkeepers for next season. We do know there is some flexibility with Jordan Garrick who is currently at Plymouth on loan and enjoying a successful season. The pilgrims keeper Michael Cooper has been of interest to the swans and numerous other clubs. Swansea possibly could manage a deal for him using Garrick as a lever. The twenty two year old has conceded only forty four goals this season and his club are well in with a shout for the play offs.

Of course if Argyle do realise promotion would he want a move to Swansea ?

Oxford boss Karl Robinson labelled Cooper as the best in league one “Their goalkeeper is the best in the league, we knew how good he was. It’s not just that he makes good saves, he starts a lot of their good play. He picks the right option more often than not. Whether it’s quick play or slowing the game down, he does certain things that allow him to be a good player.” Cooper is also receiving accolades for his half pitch throws from his own area which have contributed to goals this season.

Michael Cooper of Plymouth Argyle

All this depends on the ability of Mark Allen now his right hand man Andy Scott has left the swans. Scott is now at Nottingham Forest with Steve Cooper and is again earmarking players for recruitment dependent on where Forest end up at the end of this season. Allen has always emphasised his position as the man in charge of directing transfers in and out. “So your money has to go a bit further, and that means we have to be prudent in terms of what we do in the transfer window for incomings and outgoings. Your funds have to work hard, that is a challenge I enjoy and one I experienced at Rangers. It means your planning has to be advanced, and you have to be ready early to secure the best deals that may be out there. The process is always ongoing and it never stops, and Russell and I have already had a lot of discussions about where we want to go and potential targets”

Obviously reassuring, and any rumours of a return to Newcastle for Freddie Woodman seem extremely premature. Woodman has another year on his contract and although now at Bournemouth on loan he hasn’t played a league game since signing in January. The only game he did play was an extremely nervous outing against Boreham Wood in the FA Cup where the cherries suffered an embarrassing defeat. Woodman would have to be purchased for a fee, which makes Michael Cooper at Plymouth a far more viable proposition with Garrick open to staying in the south west.

It’s without doubt the refusal of Jay Fulton to engage in offers from Barnsley and Blackpool in January keeping him on a contract at Swansea that could have been used elsewhere is disappointing. Up until his refusal to leave he made no appearances for three months leading Russell Martin little choice but to utilise him due to his lack of squad depth. For us it hasn’t worked.

And Jay knows he isn’t a part of Swansea City’s plans for next season. He can of course sit on his hands for another season and carry on earning for doing not a lot.

The advanced planning that Allen speaks about we hope is a bit better than we saw in January. Not everything went to plan especially with the attempts to sign Matt O’Riley from MK Dons. The Danish under 21 international has since played twelve games for Celtic scoring three goals, and his performances have been exceptional at times. A missed opportunity there which seemed more about money and choice than the swans leading the way to sign him. The last minute deadline day scramble to sign Nathanael Ogbeta confirmed that the swans were chartering late deals of players who were more ‘nice to have’ than ‘must have’

We will leave the last words to Mark Allen “It takes that to be able to build something towards where you feel you are getting near to the finished product. Certainly, from my previous experiences, that was very much the case. It was probably more so at Rangers, which was more recent and relevant. It was a three or four window process to get to the point where the team was ready to go and win the league.”

That sounds about right to us, overnight transitions are not available sadly, just the realistic ones.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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