With new additions already in Pascal Gross and Maty Ryan from Ingolstadt and Valencia respectively, our transfer business looks to be in full flow. Splashing out a club-record fee on Ryan – the title previously owned by defensive rock Shane Duffy – shows we are willing to compete for players that will aid in keeping us up (hopefully). The signing of Gross indicates we are looking for midfield depth, and from observation of the German, a technically gifted midfielder that supplies further creativity moving forward. Ryan evidently is a replacement for Stockdale, and in many people’s eyes an upgrade. The Australian is a regular in the national side. Also, Ryan spent the majority of last season on-loan at Belgian club Genk, making 20 appearances whilst keeping 11 clean sheets in the process. With many rumours still in circulation it appears we are in for an eventful summer.
Based on last season’s viewing, I believe we need an additional two strikers, a backup central midfielder in the mould of Stephens, a left-back, and perhaps another wide player in order to cope with the huge step up to Premier League football.
In the Premier League it is vital that we look at bringing in a prolific goalscorer, whether they have Premier League experience or they have proven themselves in a league abroad. In some moments it can be worth taking a gamble, such as when Swansea signed Michu from Rayo Vallecano in the 2012/13 season, with the striker firing the Swans to a comfortable 9th placed finish that year. In terms of a left-back, again it would be worth looking abroad. Recently linked Markus Suttner from Ingolstadt would be a viable replacement for ex-loanee Sebastien Pocognoli due to his impressive record last season, despite relegation to the 2. Bundesliga. The Austrian notched up 4 goals and 5 assists last term and has also made 18 appearances for the national team. Another central midfielder would steady the ship in terms of squad depth, as well as a versatile defender. Difficult scenarios such as an injury crisis can have a great effect on the outcome of season, in many cases ruining them, which is why this factor is so significant.
Over the summer it is important we have full faith in Hughton and the recruitment setup to bring in the best players possible that will benefit us in the long run, rather than making judgements from rumours that have been falsely reported. By the time we face Manchester City on the opening weekend, I expect we will be all set for a rollercoaster of a season.