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 6, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT
The Turkish international has turned down a move to the Premier League in order to join European champions Barcelona.
Jul 6, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT
Like the heavily-redacted Garcia report, you can’t help but think we won’t have details until we’re watching the court cases and trials of the arraigned.
Jul 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EDT
The striker has signed a three-year deal with the second division side.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT
The Cosmos B can afford to trot out Nash, considering they are 8-0-1 with a plus-34 goal differential under head coach Alecko Eskandarian.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:09 PM EDT
Plenty of other names are having a waltz through the gossip mill.
Jul 6, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT
Pirlo says an American arrival has been in the cards for a while.
Jul 6, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT
Your move, NYCFC.com. Surely the MLS side is not pleased by the “leak” of the widely-speculated signing, but we bet it’s pretty jazzed to have Pirlo.
Jul 6, 2015, 9:51 AM EDT
Plenty more flag-waving winners, emotional players, and post-World Cup couple smooches leap off the Women’s World Cup wire. Shall we look at a few?
Jul 6, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT
The U.S. women are World Cup champions for the third time thanks to a full team effort that belied its star-first reputation.
Jul 6, 2015, 8:23 AM EDT
CONCACAF lawyer Sam Gandhi’s tone hits all the right conciliatory notes, something that FIFA has been unable to do it in its response under Sepp Blatter.
Jul 6, 2015, 7:57 AM EDT
Despite the love heaped on Clyne and Ryan Bertrand last season, Alderweireld was perhaps only second to Jose Fonte in the Saints’ defensive performance pecking order.
Jul 6, 2015, 6:24 AM EDT
McIlroy looks highly unlikely to be teeing it up at St. Andrews in 10 days time.
Jul 6, 2015, 3:06 AM EDT
The U.S. women always said they would peak at the right moment, and they did exactly that.
Jul 6, 2015, 2:41 AM EDT
Japan came out shockingly flat in the World Cup final, conceding four goals in 16 minutes.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:54 AM EDT
Carli Lloyd said she wanted to be the best in the world. On Sunday, she proved it.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:19 AM EDT
Final: Portland 1-0 San Jose
Jul 6, 2015, 12:31 AM EDT
Take a look at the aftermath of the United States’ World Cup win over Japan.
Jul 6, 2015, 12:03 AM EDT
Abby Wambach longed for a World Cup title for over a decade. On Sunday, she finally lifted the trophy.
Jul 5, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
Former Manchester United midfielder Nani is prepared for a fresh start in Turkey.
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