Jun 28, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT
Who saw this coming?
As recent as 2011, Swansea City were a member of the Championship, and were even down in League One just six years ago.
Now, only two years removed from promotion, Swansea are much more than a Premier League staple – they could be challenging for Europe.
A meteoric rise such as this should warrant more media attention than it has. Instead, Swansea are going about business as they have for their entire stay in the Premier League – completely under the radar.
With Sky Sports reporting today that Swansea have signed Slovenian goalkeeper Gregor Zabret, another piece of shrewd and positive business comes through the Welsh club with little to no fanfare.
At just 17 years old, Zabret had a trial with Swansea in February and spoke of his dream to play in England. That dream is coming true, and for Swansea it’s a wonderful addition of youth talent for practically nothing. With current keeper Michel Vorm attracting more and more attention, it’s possible that Zabret could make appearances sooner rather than later.
That’s not all they’ve done this summer, but nobody’s taken any notice, as usual.
The Swans have also secured the services of 26-year-old holding midfielder Jose Cañas from Real Betis on a free transfer. With the success of Swansea’s exploits into the Spanish transfer market, to get a player of Cañas’s experience (72 matches for Betis over the last three seasons) is wonderful for literally nothing out of pocket.
Cañas will join Angel Rangel, Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez as the growing Spanish talent in Swansea gets larger.
The crown jewel of them all, also part of that Spanish crowd, may be their most important bit of business yet this summer.
So far Swansea have successfully kept hold of Michu, who arrived from Rayo Vallecano last summer for a measly £2.2 million ($3.3 million) and proceeded to crash the Premier League party with 18 goals.
That’s £120K per goal.
The summer isn’t over yet, but it looks promising for Swansea fans on the Michu front, and it’s clear the player sees what’s happening with his club.
On that same note, another wonderful bit of business by the Welsh side again involves not an incoming figure but one who they’ve managed to keep from leaving – Michael Laudrup.
Amid fervorous speculation that the manager could find a better club and contract at Real Madrid, PSG, and the like, Laudrup has stood his ground saying last week, “I have repeated it so many times in the last three months. My intention is to stay.”
Laudrup may not have the greatest relationship with chairman Huw Jenkins, but it’s enough to keep the club running at the very least, and if the last year in transfer dealings have anything to say for it, it’s much more than that.
The Danish manager reiterated the club’s transfer policy recently, preferring to do dealings behind everyone’s back and avoiding media attention. “We are continuing to work behind the scenes, in private wherever and whenever we can, to strengthen our squad” said Laudrup. It shows.
Finally, a little more under the spotlight than the previous mentions, Swansea are on the verge of signing coveted Ivorian international Wilfried Bony. It’s not come off yet, as his club Vitesse Arnhem are being standoffish, and Swansea still have to figure out how to pay him his wages, which are off their pay scale.
However, Bony himself stated his admiration for the Swans, saying, “Swansea is a wonderful club. It’s my chance to play in the Premier League and they also play attractive football. I understood from my agent that Swansea want to pay €12million for me and that is what Vitesse want to receive, so I hope there is some good news soon.”
If they can complete that deal, Swansea could become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. They already have silverware under their belt, having won the League Cup last season, and Europe could be on the horizon.
UPDATE: Now Swansea have announced League Cup final hero Jonathan de Guzman will be returning for a second season-long loan from Villareal next year. It just keeps getting better for the Swans.
Jul 31, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT
29-year-old Argentina arrives from Tigre, becoming the club’s third Designated Player of all-time.
Jul 31, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 3:21 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT
Cristiano Ronaldo and Christopher Renzi are looking horns over the CR7 trademark.
Jul 31, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT
Guillermo Ochoa starred in the 2014 World Cup for Mexico, and now will try to fill Willy Caballero’s shoes at Malaga.
Jul 31, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
As deadly virus continues to spread, the Seychelles refuse to let Sierra Leone travel for qualifier.
Jul 31, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
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Jul 31, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT
Gerrard: “With all due respect to them, I said to Suarez that he was too good for Arsenal.”
Jul 31, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said several Premier League teams had interest in 19-year-old American striker Julian Green.
Jul 31, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT
Ching said his former USMNT teammate needs incentive-laden contracts to thrive, while Johnson claims Ching is jealous.
Jul 31, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT
Jermaine Jones is not the only US midfielder rumored to come home, while two Red Devils are tipped for Madrid.
Jul 31, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT
An altercation between a player and referee in a men’s league game left the official dead. What followed has been anything but pretty.
Jul 31, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
The World Cup praise has been flowing for Klinsmann in international circles, though American analysts like Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda and others have condemned the manager’s approach as too cautious.
Jul 31, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT
Neymar’s health could be the key to whether Barcelona can weather the Luis Suarez suspension in pursuit of La Liga’s title.
Jul 31, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT
The Red Devils’ owners are making more of the club public following the death of patriarch Malcolm, and the club could lose adidas money if on-field success doesn’t return.
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