3 key areas that Swansea City should look to reinforce in January
Swansea City weren’t really one of the strongest promotion contenders at the start of the season but a fantastic start to life under Steve Cooper has put the Swans right up there with the promotion hopefuls in the Championship.
The Welsh outfit lost two of their most influential attackers from last season – Daniel James and Oliver McBurnie, in the summer whilst Cooper took over the reins from Graham Potter, who departed the Liberty Stadium to take charge of Brighton in the Premier League.
With so many set-backs in the transfer market, few would have given Swansea a chance to battle it out for promotion this term. With the Swans continuing to impress, they certainly look like realistic promotion contenders.
Swansea currently sit 4th in the standings, just a couple of points behind West Brom and Preston in the automatic promotion places, with 7 wins and 4 draws after 14 rounds in the Championship.
Well, it might be too early to make a call but if the Swans manage to keep up their impressive run of form, a route back to the Premier League doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility for Cooper’s side.
Besides playing a big role behind the resurrection of forgotten figures Andre Ayew and Borja Baston, Cooper has caught the eye with his excellent man-management whilst also successfully establishing an attractive brand of football at the Liberty Stadium.
Despite things looking really bright for the Swans, Cooper needs to bring in a few fresh faces in January to bolster squad depth and aid the club’s surge for promotion. With that in mind, let us look at 3 areas he should look to strengthen.
1. A new striker
Borja Baston grabbed the headlines numerous times with his incredible start to the season, scoring 5 goals in 5 Championship outings. However, the Spaniard has managed to find the net only once in his last 8 league appearances, numbers which certainly do not make for good reading.
Cooper’s gamble to use Andre Ayew as the spearhead of the attack in the Welsh derby against Cardiff City paid rich dividends but one does get the feeling that Swansea need another out-and-out striker to avoid putting too much pressure on Baston.
The 27-year-old has a habit of blowing hot and cold, and Swansea simply cannot afford such inconsistencies if they are to challenge for promotion.
Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge is a decent back-up but he is still young and the arrival of a proven goalscorer in January would certainly be a massive boost.
2. A goalscoring central midfielder
The central midfield pivot of Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes has done an excellent job for the Swans in the middle of the park when it comes to retaining possession and spraying passes all around the park to facilitate build-up play.
However, neither of them has managed to find the net even once, and considering the fact that goalscoring midfielders are a must for any promotion hopeful in the Championship, the Swans need to address that issue in January.
Tom Carroll and George Byers are decent back-ups in the ranks, however, it is imperative to say that a genuine ball-winning midfielder with a good eye for goal could possibly add another dimension to their game.
3. Upgrades in the creative department
Despite the fact that most of their goals have come from open play, the Swans haven’t been good enough with their chance creation in the final third.
In other words, Swansea need to make better use of their territorial dominance and bringing in upgrades on the likes of Wayne Routledge, Aldo Kalulu and Nathan Dyer could be a step in the right direction.
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Most of the creative workload has been shouldered by Ayew and Bersant Celina but if Swansea City manage to bring in another quality winger or an attacking midfielder in January, it would certainly add a lot more cutting-edge to their attacking cavalry.