Swansea City’s season hasn’t gone to plan so far in the Sky Bet Championship, with the Welsh club currently occupying 19th place in the league standings.
Russell Martin was brought in as a direct replacement for Steve Cooper at the Swansea.com Stadium and has been tasked with implementing the attractive style of play that earnt him so many plaudits during his time at previous club MK Dons.
Maintaining ball possession for long periods of time has certainly been a strength of the Swans so far this term, but it is in the final third that they have struggled, with the team having only scored a measly nine league goals to date.
Martin has certainly worked hard to make use of the players that he has brought in over the summer whilst he has also looked at how best to develop the players that greeted him when he came in the door.
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With that in mind, here we have taken a look at Swansea’s best starting eleven based on what we have seen so far this season from the South Wales outfit.
Ben Hamer has now established himself as a the club’s number one choice between the sticks ahead of Steven Benda due to his ability to play out from the back.
In defence, Martin has usually plucked for a back three of Ryan Manning, Kyle Naughton and Ben Cabango, with the two full backs having been converted into ball playing centre backs alongside the more natural Cabango as part of the backline. Naughton’s role in particular is crucial in this area as he is tasked with progressing the ball into midfield through forward passes or driving runs.
In midfield, Jake Bidwell and Manchester United loanee Ethan Liard act as the wing backs, with both players possessing the right mix of attacking and defensive qualities to carry out the role to great effect on either side of the controlling central midfield pairing of Matt Grimes and another summer signing, Flynn Downes.
Up front, Martin has largely stuck with a front three, with two supporting players being deployed just behind the lone striker – which has, for the most part, been Joel Piroe.
Jamie Paterson has so far proved to have been an inspired signing from Bristol City and quite rightly makes the team, whilst another free transfer in the form of Olivier Ntcham has impressed during his early days with the club.