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Would Tottenham’s Alex Pritchard be a good fit for Swansea?

Scott Challinor

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As Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin looks to bolster his attacking options at the Liberty Stadium, according to the Daily Mirror, one signing he is reportedly keen on is that of 23-year old Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Alex Pritchard.  The creative young winger came through the ranks at Spurs after leaving West Ham as a 15-year old and having spent the majority of his career at White Hart Lane out on loan to Football League clubs, he has become highly rated amongst the Tottenham contingent due to his form lower down the pyramid.

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After two impressive spells with Peterborough United and Swindon Town, Pritchard spent a season on loan with West London club Brentford in 2014/15, scoring 12 goals and clocking up a further seven assists for Mark Warburton’s team as the Bees reached the Championship playoffs. They were eventually overcome by eventual beaten-finalists Middlesbrough, but the youngster was only making a bigger name for himself. Pritchard found last season tougher going having missed a large part of the campaign through injury, and struggled for form and football when loaned out to West Bromwich Albion.

The Mirror‘s reckoning is that parent club Tottenham are now ready to cash in on the player, and that the Swans are tabling a bid of £8m in order to bring the winger to South Wales. Former Spurs players Kyle Naughton and Gylfi Sigurdsson currently ply their trade at the Liberty Stadium, and the offer of first team football and the familiarity of former teammates may well help make Pritchard an ideal fit for the Welsh club should Daniel Levy sanction the deal.

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Leeds United and Newcastle United are two potential suitors who would be interested in taking the youngster out on loan, with Pritchard’s price tag slightly beyond their financial reach. But after four loans away from North London, a permanent move away from White Hart Lane may well be best for the player regarding his long-term development, since he can finally settle down in more stable surroundings and play first-team football more regularly. And Swansea may well offer that.

After an exodus of forwards, Guidolin is seeking out a player who can help bolster his attacking options in his preferred 4-3-3 formation, and given his creative presence, Pritchard could well fit the bill featuring on his preferred left-side of the attacking three or perhaps in the midfield to drive the attack further forward and create opportunities from deep. He is also a proficient set-piece taker, exhibited by some of his goals from free-kicks during his spells out on loan, an area from which Swansea from direct attempts at goal or providing service to forwards or tall centre-halves like Ashley Williams, may well look to profit.

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So there is no doubt of Pritchard’s potential to dislodge Jefferson Montero or the ageing Wayne Routledge and force himself into the first-team reckoning at Swansea. The Swans did manage 42 goals in their 38 Premier League games last season, but with their top scorer in André Ayew providing the biggest contribution of 12 from the wing, as an issue with misfiring centre-forwards still looms large over Guidolin’s head- and indeed several of those are headed for the exit door- he may look to more goals from his wider players in  the forward three and after Pritchard netted 12 in the Championship, there is plenty of reason to suggest that the youngster may well be capable of a reasonable goal-return for the club, to help relieve some of the pressure on Ayew as the team’s main source of goals.

With European pedigree as a coach during his time in Italy, Guidolin will be looking for Swansea to improve on their 12th-place finish last season and grace the Europa League as they did in 2013/14 courtesy of their Capital One Cup triumph the season before. To help match these ambitions, strength in depth is necessary for Swansea and in the areas in need of strengthening, Pritchard on paper seems a good fit, and the prospect of regular first-team football and a chance for the youngster to really concentrate on his game may make it a match made in heaven for both the player and his potential employers.

Swansea are well equipped in wide areas granted, but the player has age on his side and even if he initially encounters trouble in dislodging the more-experienced wide players, he can expect to see himself in the first-team picture the longer he remains at the club and as he begins to peak with age he may well be a strong acquisition for the long-term as well as immediate future at Swansea. For now, the ball in in Tottenham’s court, and both player and club will be waiting on what Levy and the board decide is the best course of action over the future of their asset.

23 year old from Stoke-on-Trent. Avid Port Vale fan. Also follow Derby County & OGC Nice closely. BA Hons Modern Languages Graduate (University of Oxford). My prior experience in Sports Journalism comes from Volleyball & Floorball, having worked on major tournaments with the CEV, FIVB, & IFF. Have been contributing pieces to The Boot Room since 2016. Views are my own.

Liverpool

Swansea approach for Liverpool youngster Yan Dhanda could prove a shrewd piece of business

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Swansea City’s recent relegation to the Championship has only been a matter of days and already the club are lining up potential deals for next season.

According to BBC Sport, the Swans are very close to signing the talented Liverpool youngster Yan Dhanda, with the Birmingham-born forward out of contract in the summer.

The 19-year-old is highly rated and has been one of Liverpool’s most promising prospects for many years.

However, he looks set for an Anfield exit and a move to the Swans comes at a time during which the South Wales outfit are looking to establish a squad that can target promotion next season.

Dhanda’s arrival would represent a shrewd piece of business.

Having joined Liverpool from West Brom in 2013, Dhanda was once one of the Baggies most prized possessions and a star of the club’s academy system.

His move to Merseyside,  at the age of 15, angered former Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace at the time, who was quick to show his discomfort with the bigger sides stealing their best talents.

However, Swansea will be delighted if the Liverpool midfielder moves to the Liberty Stadium.

After all, the Championship could be the perfect platform for the teenager considering the likes of Nottingham Forest and Leeds have previously shown an interest in his talents.

A move to Wales could be the perfect opportunity for Dhanda to showcase what the likes of Leeds and Forest were missing out on.

The youngster was a regular feature in the Reds’ Premier League 2 campaign, and his jump to the Championship could be the perfect opportunity for him to establish himself in the senior game.

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Rangers

Ollie McBurnie bid shows Steven Gerrard’s ambition is already rubbing off at Ibrox

The Swansea youngster would be a signing of intent for the Gers.

Josh Kerr

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Ollie McBurnie
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According to The Sun, newly appointed Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has already launched a £4 million bid to tempt Swansea City striker Ollie McBurnie to Ibrox.

The Gers ended their league campaign in bizarre fashion as they held out an entertaining 5-5 draw at Hibernian, meaning they finished the season in third place behind Aberdeen and treble-chasers Celtic.

However, despite finishing substantially behind their bitter-rivals, the appointment of Gerrard represents the club’s intent to close the gap between the two Glasgow clubs, and the bid for McBurnie is showing early positive signs.

The Swans forward has found it challenging to break into the South Wales side since his 2015 move from Bradford City.

However, the 21-year-old has excelled since his loan move to Barnsley this season, which saw the youngster hit nine goals in 17 games.

The Scotland international will rejoin his recently relegated Swansea side in the summer with a potential move undoubtedly on his mind.

McBurnie was a keen Rangers supporter growing up, and the appointment of Gerrard could persuade the striker to consider a move up North.

With just one year left on his contract, Rangers will hope that a £4 million bid is enough to secure a deal – with the chance to play for his boyhood club an even greater incentive.

The transfer would represent Gerrard’s early attempts to stamp his authority at Ibrox and could be the signing that spurs the club to a title challenge next season.

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Celtic

Jordan Ayew should follow footsteps of Scott Sinclair and join Celtic

Josh Kerr

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Ayew
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Jordan Ayew should be considering his options ahead of next season following Swansea‘s imminent relegation to the Championship.

Scottish champions Celtic would be the perfect club to revitalise a disappointing season in South Wales.

Despite the Swans underwhelming season, forward Jordan Ayew has enjoyed a more successful individual campaign, managing a respectable 11 goals and two assists.

The former Aston Villa winger joined the Liberty Stadium in January last season in a swap deal that saw Wales international Neil Taylor move in the opposite direction.

According to BBC Sport, the Swans paid £5 million for the Ghana international. Following the club’s first relegation since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2011, a summer move may seem inevitable.

When considering his next destination, Ayew should look no further than the success of former Swansea fan favourite, Scott Sinclair.

Sinclair was a revelation in South Wales, before signing for Manchester City.

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However, he failed to make an impact at the Etihad, and his move to Celtic proved to be a career-defining decision for the 29-year-old.

Now, the former Swan is on course to win a second treble at Celtic Park, and his individual performances in Brendan Rodgers’ side have not gone unnoticed.

Sinclair has gone on to win the PFA Scotland Player’s Player of the season as well as the SFWA Footballer of the Year back in 2017.

A move for Ayew could see a similar change of fortune with the Marseille-born attacker one of Swansea’s brighter performers this season.

The Ghanaian has boundless energy and provided a spark for his side throughout the season that has ultimately not been enough to keep the Swans up.

He showed signs of brilliance in Ligue 1 but never hit the heights at Aston Villa.

His move to Swansea revived his career, but now the forward needs a move that will allow him to settle and enjoy his peak years.

Ayew is in an exciting place in terms of development. He is 26 and would cost some serious cash, but fits the profile of a versatile forward that Brendan Rodgers craves.

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