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.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT
Speaking with Sports Illustrated’s SI Now, Donovan spent some time lauding David Moyes and lamenting his dismissal from Manchester United.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT
He’s simply one of the worst that’s ever played.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT
Shola Ameobi has played a lot of roles during his time at Newcastle; His latest role is vocal critic of the club’s transfer practices.
Apr 23, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT
The USMNT midfielder posted this shot to his Instagram account on Tuesday, proclaiming his new stars and stripes knee tattoo complete.
Apr 23, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT
The Champions League will make Liverpool more attractive, says its managing director, and the club will spend money to fortify its team.
Apr 23, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Paul Scholes joined former teammates Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt as Manchester United prepared for this week’s match vs Norwich
Apr 23, 2014, 7:32 AM EDT
This is a massive break for the Blaugranas and will no doubt be met with consternation by its rivals.
Champions League preview: Defending champion Bayern Munich looks to end Real Madrid quest for 10th title
Apr 23, 2014, 6:12 AM EDT
Bayern is two steps away from back-to-back titles. Real Madrid’s the same distance from its decima.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT
Ferguson has kept quiet during the club’s latest transition, but according to reporting Tuesday night, he’ll play a part in finding David Moyes’ replacement.
Apr 22, 2014, 9:14 PM EDT
With injuries forcing his hand, the Blues’ boss wants to concentrate on Champions League.
Apr 22, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT
They only took one point from Vancouver, but LA Galaxy won three spots in this week’s Best XI.
Apr 22, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT
Chelsea boss has a big job on his hands ahead of the second leg:
Apr 22, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
Mourinho’s approach; Lampard’s card; and the Blues’ two big injuries.
Apr 22, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT
Chelsea do a job on Atleti, as everything’s up for grabs in the second leg:
Apr 22, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
Evoking memories of their 2012 championship run, the Blues played out a scoreless draw in leg one.
Apr 22, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT
He missed out on our award in Week One. Six weeks later, those no denying the RSL number one.
Apr 22, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT
Excepting Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United Supporters Trust is really not fond of any higher-up at the club right now.
Apr 22, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT
The lineups are out for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea in Spain.
Apr 22, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
As much as he loves the club, perhaps even Giggs knows he’s not completely ready for the gig.
Apr 22, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT
A lost Super Bowl bet means Colorado defender Shane O’Neill will be enjoying a gooey treat courtesy of Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin.
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