It has been quite a start to the Championship season for Swansea.
Despite losing key players such as Dan James and Oli McBurnie, as well as manager Graham Potter, over the course of the summer, five wins and one draw from their opening six league games of the season have left the club top of the early standings after the first month of the season under new boss Steve Cooper.
As impressive as that is, however, there will be some who will question whether Swansea are able to maintain that sort of form across the whole campaign in a bid to seal their return to the Premier League.
Here, we take a look at three issues that could make maintaining such a lofty position difficult for the Wales-based club between now and May.
They are short of numbers upfront
One player who has been key to Swansea’s promising start to the campaign is centre forward Borja Baston.
Having spent the last two seasons out on loan in Spain with Malaga and Alaves, Baston has enjoyed an emphatic return to the Liberty Stadium, finding the net five times in six games at the start of the league season.
But while Baston is leading the charge impressively right now, there surely be some concern about who will back him up should be hit by injury, suspension or loss of form at any point this season.
Right now, the only other centre forward option available to Swansea is 21-year-old Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge, and while the striker has shown plenty of promise, the weight of a push for Championship promotion would surely be a lot to put on the shoulders of someone who is playing above League Two level on a regular for the first time in his career.
This is a young side
Interestingly, of the 144 lineups named by all 24 Championships clubs in their six league matches so far this season, all six selected by Swansea boss Steve Cooper lie within the youngest 30 in the division.
As a result, it seems that this is a Swansea side who will be going up against teams with much more experience throughout the course of the campaign, something which may well tell at times.
With that in mind, it may also be worth considering that not many of there Swansea players will have been in the sort of situation they find themselves in now – and will hope to still be in in a few months time – which could lead to the sort of pressure they have never experienced before, something that can often lead to the sort of costly errors that could make all the difference later in the year.
This is not a situation Steve Cooper is familiar with
It could be worth noting that it is just not the Swansea players who are somewhat inexperienced at this level.
For all his success at youth level with the likes of Liverpool and England, it should be remembered that this is Cooper’s first time managing any side at senior club level.
This, therefore, will be the most hectic fixture schedule Cooper has ever experienced, and you do have to wonder to an extent whether that is something he currently has the know-how to cope with.
It could be argued that up until now, that first month of the season has been fairly similar to the sort of schedule he would experience at a tournament with an England youth team, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with going beyond that in the next few months.Like what the FLW have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!