With less than two weeks to go until the start of the Premier League season, the makeup of Swansea City’s attack is still hard to predict.
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente have been linked with moves away from the Welsh side this summer, and don’t be surprised if either or both have departed—to Everton and Chelsea—before the season kicks off, let alone the end of August.
The windfall from any sale of Sigurdsson in particular, and the need to recruit another playmaker to replace him will surely see the Swans planning a big move before the window closes.
Similarly, Ivorian frontman Wilfried Bony—once Africa’s most expensive player—has also been tipped for a move to the Liberty Stadium, although recent reports suggest that the Welsh side face competition from Besiktas for the Manchester City man’s services.
Either way, should Bony move to the club, he’s nothing like the goal machine he was when he signed for the Welsh side for the first time back in 2013, and would need to be rebuilt in order to get back to top form.
Bony, don’t forget, scored just two goals on loan at Stoke City last season, and managed just four at City the season before!
The reshuffle threatens to leave a long of pressure on Jordan Ayew and record signing Borja Baston, although worryingly they managed just one goal each in the Premier League last season, with the former—admittedly—just in Wales for the second half of the campaign.
Jordan may argue that the key factor behind his slow start to life at Swansea after signing from Aston Villa midway through the campaign was the context he was walking into.
The Swans were struggling near the foot of the table—they were one place and two points above the relegation zone on February 1—when Jordan signed, and it was a difficult ask to settle into a team that had grown worryingly accustomed to losing.
He won just two of his first nine league games in South Wales—losing six—and while he contributed assists against Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City and Everton, he didn’t break his duck until the victory over West Bromwich Albion in the dead rubber at the season’s end.
After a full preseason—and Jordan was impressive in the 2-0 victory over Birmingham City at the weekend—and hopefully playing in a team buoyed by last year’s survival, Jordan will hope to hit the ground running this term.
However, it cannot be ignored that he’s not yet shown his best form since moving to English football from Lorient in the last two years. He won’t be kept in Paul Clement’s good graces for too much longer if he can’t improve on his goal ratio of one goal every six and a half games over the last two seasons.
Good news for Swans fans—but potentially bad news for Jordan—is the signing and form of Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham.
The young Anglo-Nigerian hitman has the potential to be the breakout star of the season this term, having taken the Championship by storm last season, with 23 goals in 41 league games in the second tier.
This summer, his stock has risen after finding the net on England duty against Germany in the semi-final of the U-17 European Championship, and he’s also impressed in preseason, scoring his second in three matches against Birmingham.
It’s a sad indictment for Jordan that the best he can probably hope for this term is a role on the right flank or in a supporting capacity for Abraham; an indication of the two men’s fortunes over the last 12 months.
There were some promising indications against Birmingham that a partnership between the duo could bear fruit, but Jordan will know that for him at least, the begging period is over and his output must improve.
Will the presence of the vibrant new kid on the block help get the best out of the Ghana forward, or prove too much competition?