Swansea City experienced significant changes during this period, as there were many arrivals and departures during the transfer window.
It was yet another chaotic transfer window for Swansea City.
Five players were added to the roster, while 10 players left in the first month of the year.
As has been the case since the Premier League’s relegation, the entire journey was turbulent.
Russell Martin and his staff knew that the winter market was crucial ahead of the second half, despite only having been in charge for a month.
Although targets were known well before January 1, the Swans suffered a severe blow just before 2021 reached its climax.
The news that Bournemouth had swooped for Ethan Laird was a shock to all those who worked at Swansea.com Stadium. Transfer plans were immediately changed.
Link” href=”https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/swansea-city-headlines-chief-confirms-22408638″>Creative player(s) had previously been the priority, although recruiting a new right wing-back swiftly moved to the top of the wish list.
Due to an increase in Covid-19 cases, players were not able to access the festive fixtures. Jake Silverstein was also unable to supervise as much of the club’s Christmas events as he would like during his short visit in December.
Manchester United’s surprise decision to recall Laird and send him to the Cherries was so shocking that club staff had to conduct an interview with Laird just before Christmas.
Cyrus Christie, who was not getting a look in at Fulham, was identified as the primary target to replace Laird. However it took serious negotiations between the Cottagers and the player before the move could be made.
Within 24 hours of Republic of Ireland international signing a contract with the Swans’, staff were informed that the deal was canceled. This left the club in uncertainty.
Link” href=”https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/sacrifice-cyrus-christie-made-join-22748986″>the sacrifices made by the 29-year-old to make the move to Swansea happen, and that particular transfer allowed Swansea to return to their focus of adding to their forward options, something that had been complicated by Jamie Paterson’s contract situation.
Just days prior to the capture of Christie’s loan, Swansea signed Andy Fisher from MK Dons for PS400,000.
Martin is a long-time admirer of the 23 year-old goalkeeper and realized several months ago, particularly after playing Ben Hamer against Steven Benda, that the goalkeeper would be a perfect fit for the club’s budget and style.
However, the nagging problem of an additional playmaker was still there.
Paterson was disappointed after being misled into believing that his new deal would offer better terms. Despite the best efforts of some on the ground in Swansea, to honor Paterson’s impressive efforts during the first half of the campaign and to give him his wishes for a reward, no bonuses nor a wage rise were approved by the top.
Martin has had to reduce his wage bill since he moved to south Wales.
This undoubtedly played an important role in Paterson’s refusal to grant the agent of the ex-Bristol City man what they requested or even a compromise.
It is understood that cost-cutting measures have been in place. The player wage bill has dropped by around 50% since last season. This is largely due to the departures of high-earning stars like Conor Hourihane and Andre Ayew.
Swansea has always admired James McAtee, and he could have been drafted on loan to help fill the void left behind by Paterson, should the attacker leave.
Link” href=”https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/double-man-city-updates-emerge-22902304″>as revealed by WalesOnline last week.
Swansea was still pursuing other goals. There was evidently frustration on both sides of the Atlantic.
Martin spoke out about one goal the club is chasing after the draw with Huddersfield Town.
Link” href=”https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/frustration-brewing-behind-scenes-swansea-22772951″>he said.
Swansea had arranged a deal to sign Ryan Longman, Brighton’s star player. He moved permanently to Hull City by the deadline of the deadline after a short loan period with the Tigers.
Although it was expected that he would be the club’s third January signing in January, a last-minute call to the United States forced the cancellation of the deal. This frustrated both those at Brighton as well as those at Swansea.
Matt O’Riley was also a target, and the player wanted to be reunited with Martin, his former boss. According to a source close to O’Riley, he was frustrated by the Swans’ inability to strike a deal. It came down to finances again.
He joined Celtic for PS1.5m, which is higher than the wages he would have received at Swansea. The Swans were disappointed that O’Riley did not get his man. They cited the development and fees of key players like Joel Piroe and Flynn Downes under the current regime, who commanded comparable fees to O’Riley’s move to Scotland.
That pain was only made worse by the instalments package, which would have required the Swans to pay only PS300,000. This instalments package failed to convince the club’s owners that they were willing and able to fund the 21-year old. MK Dons would have received the remaining PS1.2m in tranches over the four following windows. However, it was not to be.
Assets were being lost on and Martin was resigned to shopping primarily in the loan market because the purse strings remained tight.
Hannes Wolf attracted attention from clubs across Europe and England, but the close relationship of the Austrian agent to Martin and Swansea’s style of play led to the 22-year old being offered a temporary move to south Wales.
After his troubles at Borussia Monchengladbach, he too gave up a lot to make sure he was able to play with the Swans regularly.
Other transfers contributed to further reducing the wage bill. Jake Bidwell moved to Coventry City. However, Swansea figures were greatly frustrated by their attempts to replace the 28 year-old.
They had previously inquired about Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s loan from Man City but the Premier League leaders weren’t willing to loan the 19-year old.
After expecting to be financially backed to replace Bidwell the Swans were firmly under the impression, until the very last stages of deadline day, that it was impossible to bring in the left-sided defender they so desperately desired and needed.
Jay Fulton was one of those who were allowed to leave the club. However, he declined offers from Barnsley or Blackpool. His presence has grown in recent weeks and he could be a bigger part of first-team proceedings in near future, especially given the scarcity of options in certain areas.
This transfer twist was crucial in the hunt for a left-wing-back. Liam Walsh was loaned to Hull City, in a move that raised funds to bring Nathanael Ogbeta to Shrewsbury Town.
Although the Swans rejected a bid from the Manchester City academy former player last week, they officially announced Ogbeta as a Swansea member on a two and a half year contract. Walsh’s departure was confirmed only 30 minutes later.
Paterson’s continued presence at the club is a plus, at least from the perspective of the coaching staff.
Swansea rejected Queens Park Rangers’ third offer for the 30-year old on deadline day. Martin will hold talks on Tuesday morning to discuss his position at the club following a failure to secure a transfer from south Wales.
Although it’s unlikely that the ex-Bristol City man will return to the pitch anytime soon. However, it is possible that he could return to the first team fold to bring some creativity to the squad for this season.
Many young guns, including Dan Williams and Brandon Cooper, were sent on loan to get some game-time. Finley Burns, from Man City, was also brought in to provide an additional defensive option during Martin’s first campaign at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Swansea admired both Watford’s Domingos Quina and Ipswich Town’s Scott Fraser, but neither was pursued hard by the club in January.
It was a left-wing-back and an additional forward who were sought late on. Even though one of those boxes was ticked, it still required lengthy negotiations with the authorities. A midfielder also needed to be added temporarily to a Championship rival.
The squad now looks a little thin, with only 20 Championship matches remaining this term. It also serves as a reminder of how dire the club’s financial position is – currently in its fourth consecutive Championship campaign.
It is important to remain financially prudent. A quick glance at other clubs in the EFL shows how quickly a club can reach the wall. However, after being given a clear remit following the move from MK Dons and Swansea, Fairwood has seen frustrations.