Sunday, 4 August 2013

Transfer News + Europa League Match Analysis:



Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I analyse the latest UEFA Europa League qualifying matches which took place on Thursday evening, with English side Swansea City in 3rd round action against Swedish team Malmo. 

Also, I will review all of the latest transfer news and rumours in England, with some new done deals occuring since I last published... 


Here are the English representatives in the Europa League this season: 

Tottenham Hotspur (automatically entered due to 5th place finish) - Play-Off Stage

Wigan Athletic (automatically entered due to FA Cup win) - Group Stage

Swansea (automatically entered due to League Cup win) - 3rd Qualifying Round 

Swansea 4 Malmo 0 - 1st Leg

Very comfortable 4-0 win for Swansea at The Liberty Stadium, with the Welsh side proving why they deserve to be in European competition. 

£12million pound signing and Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony scored a double on his competitive debut for the club, as he impressed quickly for his new side.  

Spanish striker Michu broke the deadlock in the 37th minute for the hosts after a lovely over-the-top cross by winger Wayne Routledge found him in space just outside the box to cooly slot the ball past the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net.

Guess who's back: Michu scores his first (of many?) competitive goal of the 2013-14 season with a curled finish.

Trademark celebration: Michu celebrates his strike against Malmo to break the deadlock for Swansea at home.

Routledge made his second assist of the game soon after the start of the second half in the 54th minute, after a good cross into the box fell straight to the head of debutant Bony who headed the ball across goal into the top corner of the net to double the lead for the hosts and score on his Swansea debut. 

Towering tall: Wilfried Bony gets into space to head home Routledge's cross into the net to make it 2-0.

Debut double: Bony celebrates his first of two on his competitive Swansea debut.
  Swansea made it 3-0, 4 minutes later after a good run by Michu found himself in acres of space just outside the box to run into. He ran into the box before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper towards goal, but the shot hit the post and bounced back into the path of Bony to tap home. 

In the 85th minute, The Swans put the icing on the cake after a good aerial ball found new Spanish startlet Alejandro Pozuelo just outside the box. He chested the ball to control it before volleying it straight into the net with ease to complete the rout and score on his competitive debut. 

Spanish startlet: Alejandro Pozuelo celebrates completing the rout with a powerful volley to make it 4-0.
  Swansea looked very comfortable throughout the game against a Swedish side who are mid-way through their season, with only a few first-team players. Wilfried Bony looks like a very good signing, and a bargain at that for £12million given his amazing goal-scoring record in Holland.
I can just tell the Michu-Bony partnership is bound to be deadly this season, they already have a good understanding and assist each other as much as possible. 

The Swans could easily qualify for Europe next season, as long as they are consistent throughout and do not get many injuries to jeopardize their squad depth which will be needed if they are to progress in the Europa League. 

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EPL TRANSFER NEWS + RUMOURS: 

Tottenham midfielder Clint Dempsey is expected to move back to the US, and join club Seattle Sounders despite Everton's reported interest in him. The transfer fee would be around £6million pounds, but nothing has been confirmed yet. 

Meanwhile, Spurs have also reportedly broken their own club transfer record fee by confirming the signing of Valencia striker Roberto Soldado for around £26million pounds. 

Newcastle United have confirmed that they have agreed a transfer fee with French club Lyon for striker Bafetimbi Gomis. They have agreed a contract with Gomis, and the fee may rise to around £8.7million pounds depending on clauses in the 27-year-old's contract. 

FACT: If he signs, Bafetimbi Gomis will become the 11th Frenchman in Newcastle's squad. 

Arsenal have re-confirmed their interest in Swansea defender Ashley Williams and want him to strengthen their defensive options next season. 
However, The Swans want to hold out for £10million pounds for the Welshman and Arsenal reportedly do not want to pay that much... 

West Bromwich Albion have confirmed the signing of PSG defender Diego Lugano for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract deal at The Baggies. 
This will bolster West Brom's defence, as they look to become more stable in the top half of the table this upcoming season. 

Fulham have made an improved offer for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, after having a £4million pound bid turned down a couple of weeks ago. They have now offer £4.75million for the 29-year-old English striker, but Villa reportedly want £6million pounds. 

Given the fact that Bent has not been first-choice for Aston Villa despite his quality and the transfer fee that they actually paid for him (£24million pounds)