Swansea City fans have been rocked by the emerging news that head coach Steve Cooper is set to part ways with the club this week.
According to John Percy of The Telegraph, Cooper and the Swans are set for a mutual parting of ways, with the former England youth boss unhappy at the future direction that the club is going in.
And per The Athletic, captain Matt Grimes is set to be sold this summer and could be followed by Connor Roberts, which means that whoever arrives through the door at the Liberty Stadium has a massive rebuilding job on their hands.
With the club reportedly seeking a head coach that plays attractive football and is willing to utilise young players, let’s look at three potential options that the club could turn to for the 2021-22 season and beyond.
Appleton is currently taking a few weeks out of the game as he undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, but Swansea will no doubt have their eye on him once he’s ready to return to the dugout.
His managerial career got off to a bit of a ropey start at the likes of Blackburn and Blackpool early on, but a stint at Oxford United revitalised it before he moved on to Leicester City as an assistant coach and then to Lincoln.
Appleton guided the Imps to the League One play-off final a few months ago where they were just touched off by Blackpool, but the Salford-born man has gained plenty of admirers for the football that Lincoln play and the utilisation of young players in the loan market, with the likes of Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers starring.
That has no doubt piqued the interests of the Swansea board and Football Insider reported that they had their eyes on Appleton when rumours were swirling weeks ago that Cooper was heading to Crystal Palace.
It never happened of course but now Appleton could be on the radar again – it would take a sizeable compensation package to take him to South Wales though.
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Another manager who has done wonders lower down the Football League is Michael Flynn, who probably can’t believe his Newport County side aren’t playing in League One next season.
The 40-year-old has been in charge of the Exiles since 2017 and has guided them to several massive results in the FA Cup against Premier League sides and he has been courted by other EFL sides for the job he’s done at Rodney Parade.
This could be the chance for a bigger club to take a punt on Flynn though – he’s got Newport playing good football and isn’t afraid to give youth a chance, so he could be a very good fit for the club.
When Cooper arrived at the Liberty Stadium in 2019, he was generally unknown in club football, having only coached in youth football for Wrexham, Liverpool and England, but he brought some talented young players in on loan due to his contacts.
If Swansea want to go down that same path again, then they could do a lot worse than trying to bring Lee Carsley – who is currently England under-20’s head coach – into the club.
Carsley has managed Man City under-18’s, Birmingham City under-23’s and also had a short stint as the head coach of Brentford’s first team, so he has a lot of experience under his belt already.
The likes of Anthony Gordon, James Garner, Ellis Simms and Jacob Ramsey were all selected as part of a training camp late last year for England’s under-20’s and if Carsley could come in and attract that kind of loan player to the Liberty Stadium then it would make complete sense to line him up.