Steve Cooper’s stock has risen dramatically since he was appointed as Swansea City’s new boss back in June 2019.
When the Swans gave the Welshman the job ahead of the 2019/20 season, there were some question marks over how he’d fare in his first position in senior management – having spent much of his coaching career with youth sides.
He’s answered those questions over the past year and a half, taking Swansea to the play-offs last term and having them pushing for automatic promotion this time around.
Cooper’s achievements in South Wales have not gone unnoticed, with recent reports linking him to the newly-vacant Sheffield United job.
You feel if the Swans don’t win promotion this season, the 41-year-old will likely have a number of offers from elsewhere and with that in mind, we’ve outlined the potential paths he could take as rumours continue to swirl…
Stay on at Swansea and push again for promotion
If they win promotion this term, there’s surely no way that Cooper would consider leaving and even if they don’t, you feel there’s a good chance that he’ll stay put.
He’s built something impressive at the Liberty Stadium and there seems to be a fair bit of stability at the club.
With that in mind, the prospect of staying there and pushing for promotion again will likely be attractive to him – even though he may have to do so without the likes of Marc Guehi.
That said, the Swans’ impressive track record of helping Premier League loanees flourish since Cooper’s arrival means that they will likely remain a popular destination for bigger clubs to send players, which in turn boosts their future promotion hopes.
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Take over at Sheffield United
Bar a miracle, Sheffield United will be back in the Championship next season and a recent report has indicated that Cooper is someone that Chris Wilder has recommended they bring in as his replacement.
It is understood that if it’s for the right coach, the Blades would be willing to splash the cash when they make their new appointment and they may have to do so to prize Cooper away from the Swans.
This season has been very poor but the Yorkshire club are buoyed by the riches for the Premier League and have a pretty strong squad – including a former Swansea favourite in Rhian Brewster – so it may be a move that he considers.
That said, you never know how clubs are going to adapt to relegation and leaving the stability of the Swans to follow Wilder at Bramall Lane would be a huge risk.
Hold out for a Premier League job, potentially Crystal Palace
The Blades could be keen but they aren’t going to be a top-flight team for much longer and Cooper may feel that he’s ready to manage in the top flight.
Earlier this year it was reported that the Swansea boss was one of the names being considered as a replacement for Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace, who is out of contract in the summer.
The way his stock has been rising over the past 18 months and given his record developing young talent, you feel that a Premier League job may not be too far away – particularly given speed that top-flight clubs go through managers.