Five strikers to solve struggling Swansea City’s scoring crisis
Swansea City, outsiders with Coral at 33/1 to for a top six Premier League finish, have taken just five points from a potential 15 since leading scorer Wilfried Bony’s Africa Cup of Nations exit and subsequent move to Manchester City (7/1 to win the top flight title).
Garry Monk’s men may have made a significant profit following brilliant Bony’s sale, which is rumoured to eventually amount to around £28m, but there is a reason the Ivory Coast attacker was coveted by City.
His instinct in front of goal, which saw a return of 35 strikes in 70 games for the Swans, has been much missed already, with the Welsh club on target just three times in the league since his Bony bid goodbye.
The fact that midfielders Ki Sung-Yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson are the side’s next most potent attacking options speaks volumes.
Loan signing Nelson Oliveira and free transfer Bafetimbi Gomis have both flopped since summer moves, leaving the Swans stale up top. Monk must adapt his style of play to extract the best from powerful Gomis, who is accustomed to a regular supply of crosses, as the French forward has struggled so far.
It appears Gomis was only intended to be a back-up option, however, and the mismatched pair of club and player may split in summer, but must make the best of it in the meantime.
So, here’s who we think the Swans could splash their Bony fee on to bring back their mojo next term.
The dangerous Dutchman has been a Bundesliga menace, bagging 101 goals in 163 appearances for Schalke since joining in 2010. Not just a potent poacher, Huntelaar has also provided 29 assists during his time in Gelsenkirchen, more than pulling his weight.
Royal Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo favours slick and free-flowing attacking football, and the Netherlands international is used to the likes of Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer threading him smart and subtle passes, so should also thrive on the service of Sung-Yeung and Sigurdsson if given the chance.
At 31, and with his contract set to expire, the 69-capped Clockwork Orange international could favour a move to the Premier League and would be guaranteed game time at Liberty Stadium, unlike with other potential suitors.
Leicester City were looking at Japan frontman Okazaki during the winter window, but perhaps it was the Swans who should have been paying closer attention to the Blue Samurai striker.
Awesome Okazaki has already expressed an interest in moving to England and could be available for a low fee this summer. Despite not enjoying the best Asian Cup adventure, the 28-year-old proved to be a crucial part of his country’s link-up play and the Mainz marksman’s 10 goals this term are nothing to be sniffed at.
Should Aston Villa succumb to relegation this season, Belgium international Benteke would surely be up for grabs.
Whilst big-guns such as Liverpool and Tottenham may return to circle for the out-of-form forward, his recent struggles could make the 24-year-old a risky punt for those clubs. So Swansea should consider a splurge for the striker instead.
Already a proven poacher in the Premier League with 31 in 76, Benteke just needs a boost of confidence and regular game time to return to his best. Unplayable on his day, the powerful centre forward could easily step in to Bony’s shoes at the Liberty stadium.
Should the Swans opt for a cheaper option, however, they could do worse than to throw their hat into the ring for the expected transfer tussle for Gignac.
The Marseille man will be a free agent in summer, so is another low-risk alternative, as 16 strikes in 25 outings across all competitions this campaign is hard to argue with.
An accomplished and experienced sharpshooter, who is also able to hold his own in both build-up play and physical duels, Swansea should expect to compete for his signature with the likes of Southampton and Everton.
Recent reports have linked Monk’s men with Lasse Vibe, a Denmark international and gifted Gothenburg frontman.
Valued at around £2.5m, the 27-year-old may not dent the coffers too much, but there is no guarantee the Sweden-based striker could make the step up.
A record of 33 in 53 for his current club suggests Vibe has potential, but the Swans surely require a proven star to inspire their lacklustre attack.