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.
Oct 31, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
Watch the Blues host the R’s Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN or online via Live Extra.
Oct 31, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
Take a look at the rest of the fixtures ahead for Yanks in Europe by heading inside.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT
New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, New England Revolution, FC Dallas, L.A. Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Real Salt Lake or DC United: Who’s been better?
Oct 31, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
“This is the biggest derby that I shall manage,” the Manchester United boss told reporters on Friday.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT
Onyewu has played at QPR, Malaga, Sporting CP, Twente, AC Milan, Newcastle, Standard Liege, La Louviere and Metz since he left Clemson.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Where and how to watch every game during Week 10 of the PL.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
City and United tangle at 8am ET on NBCSN this Sunday, and the absence of Silva will be a bonus for Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils.
Diego Costa will be available to Chelsea this weekend, says Jose Mourinho; QPR and Blues to tangle on NBCSN
Oct 31, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
Chelsea and QPR kick-off at 11am ET on NBCSN this Saturday.
Oct 31, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT
Here’s how PST’s editor and lead writer sees things panning out this weekend.
Oct 31, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
We are a quarter of the way through the season. Scary, right? Anyway, here’s our latest rankings of power.
Oct 31, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
“Some weren’t in the European finals, some weren’t even domestic champions,” said Jesus. Others were, and weren’t nominated. We’ll give out some props.
Oct 31, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT
Suddenly-hot Newcastle United put their three-match win streak on the line when they host Liverpool on Saturday morning.
Oct 31, 2014, 8:40 AM EDT
Bradley Wright-Phillips netted twice in the final 13 minutes and Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was left to explain the loss.
Oct 31, 2014, 7:47 AM EDT
It’s difficult to imagine him playing in a different shirt, but one-club men grow more rare by the season.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:13 AM EDT
After FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls defeated their opponents in the first two games of the MLS playoffs, the postseason picture exists in its beginning stages.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT
Robbie Keane stands ready to play for his international side right after the LA Galaxy’s playoff contests vs. Real Salt Lake.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT
Final: New York Red Bulls 2, Sporting KC 1
Oct 30, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
Men in Blazers preview Round 10, most notably the Manchester derby.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:36 PM EDT
Fernando Torres, expanding on his decision to leave Chelsea on loan, says he wanted to “feel important.”
Oct 30, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is happy for the recent triumphs of criticized Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
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