If losing their manager wasn’t bad enough, Swansea have had to spend large parts of the season fending off unwelcome advances for some of the players responsible for their fantastic Premier League debut. They’ve already said goodbye to Gylfi Sigurðsson and Joe Allen so they’ll be a far weaker outfit than last season. Purely in terms of style, Michael Laudrup is a superb replacement for Brendan Rodgers, but in terms of getting results, things are a little less certain. He’s done plenty of good things during his managerial career, but the blots on his copybook – such as Spartak Moscow and walking out on Mallorca – show it doesn’t always go to plan.
Something to be positive about
There’s no doubt Laudrup has ability and he’ll likely stay true to the free-flowing football that made the Swans such a pleasure to watch last season. If they can keep hold of other key players like Danny Graham, similar results to last season aren’t out of the question.
Something to be a bit worried about
Losing your best players is never ideal. Even though you’re getting some money in return, there’s no guarantee that the manager will spend it wisely as he looks for suitable replacements . A topical example would be the £17million Rafa Benitez paid to replace Xabi Alonso with Alberto Aquilani. The Italian recently departed Anfield for £5.5 million. If Swansea need to recruit some new players, a few misgivings about Laudrup’s talent-spotting are warranted.
An optimistic season bet
If you think Laudrup can improve upon what Rodgers has left behind him, backing Swansea at 9/2 to Finish in the Top 10 has a decent chance of happening. They were denied that honour on goal difference last season.
A more realistic season bet
It would take spectacular ineptitude to turn this Swansea team into relegation fodder. Unless Laudrup seriously underperforms, 4/11 for the Swans to avoid relegation looks like a safe bet.
Jose Manuel Flores (Genoa, £2m)
Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal, loan)
Michu (RayoVallecano, £2m)
Packing their bags
Casey Thomas (released)
Joe Walsh (released)