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Garry Monk faces his first full season in charge at the Liberty Stadium and has bought reasonably well but must hope that he can hold onto Wilfried Bony after losing Michu

Swansea City endured a difficult season in 2013-14, with Michael Laudrup fired less than a year after lifting the Capital One Cup, but can new man Garry Monk steer them to a brighter campaign? Goal assesses the state of play as the Premier League kick-off nears...
 

INS


Gylfi Sigurdsson has played his best football in years while at Swansea so his arrival from Tottenham, in exchange for Ben Davies and Michel Vorm, will provide plenty of encouragement at the Liberty Stadium, not to mention a creative spark.

The £4 million signing of Jefferson Montero from Morelia is exciting but the Swans are the ninth club of the 24-year-old Ecuadorian's career so there are no guarantees that he will bed into English football seamlessly.

Lukasz Fabianski has joined from Arsenal to provide competition for Gerhard Tremmel, although neither option leaps out as a No.1. Stephen Kingsley has also arrived from Falkirk.
OUTS

The headline exit was Michu to Napoli on loan. The Spanish attacking midfielder took the Premier League by storm in his debut campaign two seasons ago but struggled with injuries last term and failed to dislodge Wilfried Bony.

Left-back Davies and goalkeeper Vorm have both departed for Tottenham as Mauricio Pochettino sets about building a squad in his image, which necessarily means that the Swans have been weakened in two key positions.

Alejandro Pozuelo's short spell in England came to an end when he joined Rayo Vallecano for an undisclosed fee, while Thomas Atyeo, Daniel Alfei and Gwion Edwards have all moved to Football League clubs.
SQUAD ASSESSMENT

Swansea have enjoyed a productive summer in the transfer market bringing in a number of new players as well as tying captain Ashley Williams down to a new four-year deal, despite interest from other clubs.

Vorm has departed but former Arsenal shot-stopper Lukas Fabianksi should prove a more-than-capable replacement and, while Michu has been loaned out, Bafetimbi Gomis has arrived to partner Bony up front.

Gomis scored 22 goals last season for Lyon, with a total of 62 in 172 appearances for the French side, and, if he can replicate that form in England, he should be a hit in the Premier League.

Davies's exit to Spurs is a blow which was softened by the arrival of Sigurdsson while Montero, who featured at the World Cup for Ecuador, will add another option in attack and bring pace and trickery to the Liberty Stadium.

Monk admits thyat he is still keen to strengthen his squad further and wants to add a full-back to cover for Davies's absence. A holding midfielder also looks necessary, with Jonathan de Guzman's future still uncertain and Leon Britton likely to miss the start of the season with injury.
 
STANDOUT STAR

Top scorer Bony is undoubtedly Swansea's biggest star and his 16 Premier League goals last season arguably kept them in the Premier League. Of course his goalscoring displays did not go unnoticed and have attracted strong interest from both Liverpool and Tottenham.

Monk remains adamant that the Ivorian will stay at the Liberty Stadium this summer and that Gomis has been brought in to play alongside him rather than as a replacement.

However, the striker's future remains uncertain particularly as chairman Huw Jenkins has admitted that Bony could be sold this summer and Goal understands that Liverpool are ready to table an improved offer.

Behind Bony in the goalscoring stakes was Nathan Dyer with seven and, with Michu elsewhere, keeping Bony is surely essential if the Swans are to avoid a difficult season.


 
MANAGER

Monk was a surprise choice to take over from Laudrup in February after the Dane was sacked, with the former defender taking on his first managerial role.

Swansea were just two points off the drop zone when Monk replaced the Dane but he got off to the perfect start, beating rivals Cardiff 3-0 in his first game in charge.

He then oversaw three wins in Swansea's final four games of the season as the Welsh side ultimately finished the campaign in a respectable 12th place.

His inexperience means that doubts still exist over his suitability for the role ,with the 35-year-old preparing for his first full season as a manager, and he will face a certain Louis van Gaal and Manchester United at Old Trafford on the opening day.
 
A GOOD SEASON WOULD BE...

SWANSEA ODDS FOR 2014-15
(From PaddyPower)
Title 1000/1
Top four 150/1
Relegation 4/1
A good season for Swansea would be staying in the Premier League and consolidating their position as a top-flight club.

The Swans flirted with relegation at times last year before finishing 12th but will not have to face the demands of Europa League football this time around, which should help their cause.

Much will depend on whether Bony stays and if new striker Gomis can adapt to life in the Premier League quickly but new signings Sigurdsson and Montero should at least give the Swans plenty of attacking verve.

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