Swansea City Chief Executive Julian Winter believes the Championship side had a ‘positive’ transfer window in the summer, speaking to the BBC.
The Swans managed to recruit a total of nine players despite a managerial change during the summer, paying a transfer fee for four, bringing in two loan signings and managing to sign three very capable players in Liam Walsh, Jamie Paterson and Olivier Ntcham on free transfers.
This has gone a long way in bolstering Russell Martin’s side as he looks to rebuild the Welsh side after two consecutive top-six finishes in recent seasons, although the loss of some key figures since the end of last term has forced many Swansea fans to temper their expectations.
Quiz: 26 questions about Swansea City’s managers from over the years – Can you score full marks?
Although they lost former boss Steve Cooper in a major blow at the end of July, the departure of previous top scorer Andre Ayew on the expiration of his contract was even worse news in Wales after seeing the Ghanaian international record 16 goals and four assists in 43 Championship games during the 2021/22 campaign.
His strike partner Jamal Lowe and Welsh international Connor Roberts also left the Swansea.com Stadium to join AFC Bournemouth and Burnley on transfer deadline day – and Wayne Routledge announced he would no longer be playing for Martin’s team after mutually terminating his contract.
They did manage to retain Matt Grimes amid strong interest from elsewhere (22:45; August 29th), however, and the club’s Chief Executive struck a positive tone in a BBC interview, saying: “Now we’ve gone through the window, I think we feel positively about the squad.
“As I’ve tried to say ever since I’ve been here, you’ve got to try to feel like you’ve come out of a window stronger than you went in and I think each time we’ve done that.”
“Andre (Ayew) is Andre – let’s not try to pretend he’s not a big miss, but we all know his financial circumstances were challenging for the club for all the time we’ve been in the Championship.
“But I think we’ve had a positive window. Some players are inevitably going to leave.
“Players move, we’ve brought replacements in. We’re less reliant on the loan market now – only two loans in the squad at the moment, that’s a positive thing.
“But we have our own assets to develop and contribute to the team.”
One major positive from the transfer window is the fact they managed to recruit Flynn Downes to what already looked like a high-quality Swansea midfield. The former Ipswich Town man was the subject of major interest from several Championship sides this summer, so you have to commend them for winning the race.
They also managed to get replacements for Connor Roberts, Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe in Ethan Laird (loan), Joel Piroe and Michael Obafemi, with the latter also being monitored by numerous second-tier teams in the summer.
Despite this, you could argue they could have gone even further in terms of spending, even with Covid-19’s effect on finances, considering the high-profile sales they have made in recent seasons.
Seeing both Ayew and Lowe leave the club after seeing them contribute heavily last term was a major surprise, so the decision to let the latter go to Bournemouth for just £1.5m with his contract not expiring until 2023 was a strange decision, unless Martin felt he didn’t fit in his system.
The departure of Roberts is also a blow with the Welsh international spending the entirety of his playing career at the Swans, so the previous window will leave many of the Championship side’s fans with mixed feelings.
They will just be hoping these departures won’t come back to haunt them over the next few seasons, because promotion back to the Premier League won’t be guaranteed even with the rebuild under Russell Martin is complete.