Swansea City’s return to the Championship following a seven-year absence has seen stability prioritised over an immediate return to the top-flight.
The Welsh side sit 15th in the table, which is not a bad return for a club who required such a serious rebuild.
They have lost 19 first-team players since the summer and replaced them with just six new faces.
As a result, Graham Potter has relied heavily on the club’s youth set-up with the likes of Daniel James, Joe Rodon and Oli McBurnie starring this campaign.
And although Swansea’s performance was encouraging in their 1-0 defeat to promotion-chasing Norwich City, it also goes to show what could have been achieved this season had the Swans hierarchy provided more financial support.
Potter’s side controlled long spells of Friday’s match and restricted their esteemed hosts to just one shot on target. However, this was all the Canaries needed to claim victory with Emiliano Buendia firing home the winner in the 54th minute.
But it was evident that Swansea are desperate for an injection of players, ideally with Championship experience, if they are to mount a promotion challenge.
On Friday night, McBurnie’s absence meant James was tasked with leading Swansea’s front line and while the Welshman delivered a bright performance, he was sometimes left stranded up top.
This is the price Swansea must pay for only having one senior striker, as Potter’s side would have surely been more potent in attack if James received additional support.
The likes of Matt Grimes, Bersant Celina and George Byers have also excelled in the Swans’ midfield of late, but Potter’s squad would be more well-rounded if this young trio were complimented by other more experienced options.
Swansea have lacked the depth to win games consistently this season and a string of casualties has now left the squad looking threadbare. Recent injuries to Leroy Fer, Rodon and McBurnie have limited Potter’s options to such an extent that he could only name six substitutes against Norwich.
Despite his side’s mid-table position, Potter has worked wonders in South Wales this season by taking clear steps to help Swansea re-discover their passing philosophy.
It is a shame that the board have not granted him with the backing he needs to compete higher in the table.
As their season now draws to a close, Swansea fans should feel encouraged by their side’s campaign given the circumstances.
With a boost in quality over the summer, Potter is capable of achieving great things in SA1.