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Swansea City

Who is Lucas Lima, the Brazilian linked with a move to Swansea City?

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Lucas Lima

Swansea City are reportedly looking at Brazilian forward Lucas Lima should Icelandic midfield maestro Gylfi Sigurdsson leave the club this summer, according to reports coming from The Sun.

The 27-year-old’s future has been widely speculated over the transfer window to date, with bids from Everton being rejected, as reported by The Guardian, and his Swansea career remains in the balance.

And reports from early on Sunday morning now claim that the Swans have got Santos man Lima firmly on their radar as they look to line-up a replacement should Sigurdsson in fact go this summer.

Who is Lucas Lima?

Born in Marilia, in the region of Sao Paulo, Lima had brief spells at Rio Preto and America SP as a youngster before breaking through the youth system at Inter de Limeira and into their first-team.

He made his professional debut in 2010, scoring his first goal just two weeks later, before being awarded with a trial at former La Liga side Racing Santander in 2011.

Although nothing came of this he did earn himself a move to Brazilian Serie A side Internacional during the 2012 season, making 14 appearances – and four starts – during his single season there.

A loan spell at fellow top-flight side Sport Recife before his big move to Santos in 2014, and he has since played 186 games for them, scoring 18 times and earning a call-up to the Brazil national side.

His international debut came in 2015 where he featured in friendlies against the United States and Costa Rica before becoming a regular in 2018 World Cup qualifiers, scoring against Argentina in May.

Would his style of play suit Swansea City?

Like many native Brazilian playmakers he is very tricky and pacey in the final third, constantly on the move and looking to take the ball past defenders with an instant burst of acceleration in the middle.

Energetic is perhaps the best way to describe his mindset on the pitch and, potentially moving to a Swansea side that only narrowly avoided relegation, his contagious energy can only be a good thing.

Once on the ball it’s incredibly hard to get him off of it due to the hustling nature of his driving runs combined with his excellent ball retention; but in spite of his natural ability to run with the ball at his feet, he’s one of the most selfless players and is constantly on the lookout for that killer pass.

Another attribute worthy of note is his ability from set-pieces – we all know Sigurdsson’s quality from dead ball situations – and Lima has both the ability to score and deliver with very good consistency.

Going for an unknown player that has yet to prove himself in Europe will no doubt be a risk for manager Paul Clement, but it could turn out to be a gamble that pays dividends in the new season.

How likely is a move to Wales?

The Sun claim that Lima could be made available should Swansea submit a formal offer in the region of £15 million, which would be achievable should they coup £50 million from Sigurdsson’s sale.

But there’s no guarantee that he’d be able to secure a work permit for the move to the United Kingdom – and the Swans would have to pay a hefty fee – so a move could be firmly in the balance.

The switch obviously hinges on whether Sigurdsson stays or goes too, and it’s fair to assume that Clement is currently focusing his time on trying to persuade the Icelandic midfielder to stay in Wales.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Leeds United

Oli McBurnie ready for Swansea campaign after summer of transfer rumours

Rangers wanted to bring him to Ibrox whilst Leeds reportedly wanted him at Elland Road.

Mathew Nash

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This summer saw Oli McBurnie strongly linked with a move away from Swansea City. The two clubs perhaps most strongly linked with his signature were Leeds United and Rangers. With good reason as well.

First of all, both sides needed strikers. In Leeds’ case, the West Yorkshire city is home to McBurnie. He also played under the manager at Leeds before the start of June Paul Heckingbottom at Barnsley.

Rangers also made sense. They needed a cheap striker and McBurnie, a Scotland, is a huge Rangers fan. A move to Ibrox would have been a dream come true for the player.

But it seems that any lingering hope any team had for McBurnie heading to Leeds or Glasgow is now over. The striker has bequeathed his services to Swansea this season. He spoke of his excitement at playing with the club in the Championship next term on their official website.

(xxxx of Derby County is tackled by xxxx of Barnsley during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Barnsley at iPro Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Derby, England.

Leeds fans had already accepted that McBurnie was not heading their way. At the start of May, the YEP reported how Leeds were ‘hot for’ the striker, who scored 19 goals in 36 games for Swansea’s under-23s and Barnsley last season.

But as soon as Heckingbottom got the sack a deal looked unlikely.

Rangers were still being linked as recently as June. The self-proclaimed fan of the club McBurnie was waxing lyrical about Steven Gerrard’s appointment in the Daily Record.

But Rangers, as well as Leeds, have missed out. McBurnie will now be hoping to find the net and the starting XI regularly at Swansea City next season.

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Newcastle United

Some Newcastle supporters are worried by Ki Sung-yeung signing

Jake Jackman

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Newcastle United have made their second signing of the summer as Ki Sung-yueng on a free transfer from relegated Swansea City. The South Korean captain has signed a two-year deal at St James’ Park and adds Premier League experience to the Magpies’ squad.

The Northern Echo report that he has been signed to help replace Mikel Merino who is set to move back to Spain and join Real Sociedad.

There has been a mixed reaction to the signing. On the one hand, Ki is a seasoned Premier League player capable of making meaningful contributions at the highest level and he is a low-risk capture on a free signing.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

However, given the negativity within the fanbase regarding the lack of transfer funds being made available for Rafa Benitez, the fact this is a free transfer hasn’t increased optimism that the manager will be backed.

There have been plenty of rumours regarding the future of the Spanish coach, but he has spoken positively about his new signing. He told the official site:

“I’m pleased to welcome Ki to the club. He is a player with lots of Premier League and international experience and it was an easy decision to bring him here.

“He is the captain of his country, a good character and he will be a good addition to the squad.”

Ki arrives with over 150 Premier League appearances to his name, while he has over 100 caps for South Korea. Newcastle did well to finish in the top ten last season, but they were a young squad and game management was a weakness of theirs at times. Benitez will be hoping that the 29-year-old midfielder can improve that aspect.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Benitez will also want his team to retain possession better in the 2018/19 campaign and Ki is an excellent passer of the ball. His pass accuracy has remained around 90% throughout his time in England and he possesses the quality to make positive contributions with the ball.

In addition to his possession play, the South Korean offers a goal threat with his best season coming during the 2014/15 season. He scored eight Premier League goals during that year.

It is too soon to fairly judge this signing. If Newcastle are bringing in Ki to spend big elsewhere, it is a shrewd deal by the club, as he can still contribute in Premier League matches.

However, if it is a sign that another low spending summer is ahead, supporters have the right to be concerned about the long-term future. Looking back at the Ashley tenure, fans on Twitter can be forgiven for taking the second view, as shown below:

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Everton

Everton should offer Renato Sanches chance at Premier League redemption

The starlet deserves another opportunity.

Jamie Watts

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Despite a late resurgence under the tutelage of Carlos Carvalhal, Swansea City were relegated last term, and Bayern Munich loanee Renato Sanches will be returning to Germany following a horror season in the Premier League.

However, Everton should consider taking the Portuguese international on loan for another season despite his struggles.

The 20-year-old, considered as one of the hottest properties in world football just a year ago, endured an extremely difficult time with the Swans, and soon found himself resigned to the role of a reserve player at the Liberty Stadium despite his immense talents.

After a turbulent start, the midfielder looked bereft of confidence and never really got going in the Premier League. However, Sanches wasn’t wanted by Europe’s elite for no reason and Marco Silva should seriously consider giving him a chance at redemption in England. It could potentially prove to be a masterstroke.

Photo: Getty Images

Sanches showed his brilliant technical quality in Euro 2016 with Portugal and earned his £27.5 million move from Benfica to Bayern (Sky Sports), and there’s no doubting Silva loves a play-maker – having signed Will Hughes for Watford during his time at Vicarage Road.

If Silva can unearth the player’s immense quality, Everton will reap the benefits of having him at Goodison Park, and if not, Sanches can simply return to the Bundesliga in a year’s time. The risk is minimal and the gain is extremely high, and we could be lauding Silva if the gamble pays off.

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