Laudrup to encourage quiet evolution at Swansea


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What will the Michael Laudrup era bring for Swansea City? Right now it’s delivering excitement and rightly so. It’s rare that a club of Swansea's resources can appoint an appealing coach like Laudrup, let alone follow his arrival with the several signings from overseas. This should make for one of the most intriguing seasons in the club's history.

The arrival of the Dane signalled chairman Huw Jenkins's intention to continue the ideals first brought forward by Roberto Martinez, then carried by Brendan Rodgers. He too purveys a similar approach to the game, with a focus on ball retention, smart passing and on-field intelligence. The difference is that Laudrup is clearly not in Wales just to carry a baton left by another coach; he’s here to tweak the system and add more rigour to it.

During his spells at both Getafe and Mallorca - the former a huge success, the latter less so - Laudrup married defensive solidity with subtlety in attacking movements. His players worked as a unit to protect leads and smother opponents, while in attack they would swarm and hit hard in key areas.

Swansea’s aerial ability has perhaps lacked under both Martínez and Rodgers, and that’s what makes two of his signings extremely interesting. In centre-back Chico he’s found a tough customer capable of dominating in the air and offering a genuine presence at the back. He can use the ball efficiently too, and will look to move the ball out of the back with the grace of a defensive midfielder.

Then there is Michu, another tall player adept with both head and feet. He’s renowned for his goal poaching qualities and general awareness in the penalty area. Outside it, he works well with back to goal and retains fluidity in attacking moves. Both are extremely smart signings, coming in at just under €2.5m each, and will add something to the approach that served Swansea so well last season.

Laudrup’s other acquisition to date is midfielder Jonathan De Guzmán, an athletic and technically gifted midfielder who can be used as a standard attacking midfielder or as a workhorse in a box-to-box role. If it happens that Joe Allen leaves the club, then De Guzmán will be the one most suited to replacing him.

Laudrup would be wise to take heed of the old maxim: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Swansea are looking to develop here, and that’s what is most enthusing about recent activity at the club. The Dane has always been a fan of the Premier League so he will be aware of all its nuances. All signs suggest that this could be an entertaining era - and a successful one too.

Over at Unibet there are several bets on offer concerning Laudrup’s appointment at Swansea. If you fancy the Dane to get silverware in his first season, then he’s at 25.00 to win the Carling Cup and 50.00 to win the FA Cup. Swansea fans would love nothing more than to get one over on the departed Rodgers, and you can back Liverpool to finish below the Welsh outfit at 7.00.