The summer transfer window is over, and Swansea boss Russell Martin has introduced many new faces to the newly renamed Swansea.com Stadium. The once threadbare squad looks more promising now, although several first-team players have moved on, including their three highest-scoring players from last season.
For now, let’s take a look at every senior signing made by the club this summer.
Kyle Joseph – 11th June
The Swans kicked off their transfer window by signing Kyle Joseph from Wigan Athletic. The 19-year-old Scottish striker impressed last season for the Latics and made a permanent move to South Wales for an undisclosed fee.
Evidently a signing for the future, Joseph was loaned out to Cheltenham Town on deadline day, returning to League One for another season. He could make his debut for the club this weekend against Russell Martin’s former club, MK Dons, while a return to the DW Stadium to face his Wigan is set for 25th September.
Joseph featured for the Swans in the first and second rounds of the EFL Cup before making his loan move.
Joel Piroe – 2nd July
Keen to bolster their attacking options, Swansea City added Joel Piroe to the club in early July. The 22-year-old Dutch striker joined from PSV, where he had been a highly touted prospect as a teenager, drawing comparisons to Ruud Van Nistelrooy. He has represented the Netherlands up to Under-20 level, and joined the Swans for an estimated £1 million, potentially rising to £2 million.
After surprisingly missing out on the 20-man squad for the opening game of the season, Piroe has become a key figure in the Swansea side, scoring three goals in his first four league games. After coming on for the final 27 minutes in his league debut, Piroe scored on his second league appearance for the club, in a 3-1 defeat to Stoke. This earnt him a start in Swansea’s fourth league game, a 1-0 win away at Bristol City, where Piroe scored the only goal. He picked up his third league goal in as many games last weekend, although the Swans still suffered defeat, this time in a 3-1 loss at Preston.
He also scored in his competitive debut, slotting home the third in a 3-0 win over Reading in the EFL Cup.
Liam Walsh – 8th July
While Piroe has had a significant impact since joining, the same can unfortunately not be said for Liam Walsh. The 23-year-old midfielder joined the club on a free transfer after leaving Bristol City but suffered yet another injury in preseason, in what was sadly a familiar story for the highly rated Englishman.
Walsh missed the majority of last season with injury, although he impressed while on loan at Coventry City in 2019-20. He is yet to make his competitive debut for the Swans but will likely add some creativity to the midfield when he is fit.
Jamie Paterson – 6th August
Joining Walsh from Bristol City was Jamie Paterson, who also moved to South Wales on a free transfer. This saw him reunite with Korey Smith, who made the same move a year prior. At 29-years-old, the winger/attacking midfielder is Swansea’s most experienced signing of the summer. He was also Russell Martin’s first signing as Swansea manager.
He joined after spending five years at Bristol City, where he made 145 league appearances, scoring 23 goals. He completed his move to Swansea on Friday 6th August and was surprisingly named in the starting eleven a little over 24 hours later. He made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut, but the Swans still fell to a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.
Paterson has started in four of Swansea’s first five games, making a substitute appearance against Stoke City.
Flynn Downes – 10th August
Four days after signing Paterson, Russell Martin bolstered his options in midfield, bringing in Flynn Downes from Ipswich Town. Martin has been an admirer of the 22-year-old defensive mdifelder since his time as MK Dons manager, making a point to express his delight upon signing Downes.
Before joining Swansea, Downes spent fifteen years at Ipswich, first joining in 2006 at the age of seven. In his four years in the senior squad, he played 92 times, including 29 Championship appearances in 2018-19.
Since arriving, Downes has played twice for Swansea, looking solid on his debut in their 0-0 draw with Sheffield United. He started again three days later in the defeat to Stoke, but his missed the last few games after testing positive for Covid-19.
Ethan Laird (loan) – 16th August
While the club has been reliant on loan signings since relegation, they took until mid-August to make their first loan acquisition of the season. With Connor Roberts injured and likely to leave the club, Russell Martin opted to bring in Ethan Laird, who he had managed last season at MK Dons.
The 20-year-old wing-back joined on a season-long loan from Manchester United, where he is highly rated by the fans and coaching staff. Laird made his Swansea debut as a second-half substitute against Stoke and was handed his first start in the win over Bristol City, a game in which he immediately earnt his regular place in the starting eleven.
Rhys Williams (loan) – 31st August
Swansea remained quiet for the next fortnight, before unveiling their second loan signing of the season on deadline day. They brought in 20-year-old centre-back Rhys Williams from Liverpool.
As a result of Liverpool’s extensive injury list, the young Englishman made nine Premier League appearances last season, as well as playing six times in the UEFA Champions League. He also played twice in the League Cup.
At 6-ft 5-in, Williams will provide extra aerial presence for set-pieces, while also adding quality depth at centre back.
Michael Obafemi – 31st August
Following the surprise deadline day departure of Jamal Lowe, Swansea quickly found a replacement. After his injury in January prevented a loan to the club, Michael Obafemi completed a permanent move to Swansea seven months later.
Aged 21, Obafemi has already experienced Premier League football, albeit mostly from the bench. He played 21 times in 2019-20, scoring three top-flight goals. He has also represented Republic of Ireland once.
The signing was officially announced at 11:15pm on deadline day. With the international break currently underway, Obafemi will have plenty of time to get settled in before Swansea take on Hull City on Saturday 11th September.
Olivier Ntcham – 1st September
The day after the transfer window closed, Swansea City unveiled their ninth and final senior signing of the summer, bringing in Olivier Ntcham on a free transfer.
The 25-year-old French midfielder was released by Celtic in the summer after four seasons with the Scottish giants. There, he made 87 league appearances, scoring 13 goals. He also played 43 times in European competitions, scoring the winner away to Lazio in the Europa League in 2019.
This move sees Ntcham make his return to the English leagues. He began his senior career at Manchester City in 2015, after three seasons in their youth academy, but left in 2017 to join Celtic. Ntcham has represented France at every youth level, making 20 appearances for the Under-21s between 2017 and 2019.
Although he has struggled to find consistent form, this signing is a big statement for the Swans. He brings a winning mentality to South Wales, after winning three successive Scottish Premiership titles, as well as two Scottish Cups and three League Cups.
While I was disappointed with some of the fees we received for our players, I was delighted to see the club make several permanent signings, after years of loans and free agents. The signing of Joel Piroe has already paid dividends, while Jamie Paterson and Flynn Downes have also performed well since donning the Swansea shirt.
Kyle Joseph’s loan was disappointing, although regularly first-team football will be invaluable to him at such a young age. Liam Walsh remains an unknown but looked promising in his limited preseason appearances. As a free transfer, Walsh was a low risk signing who could still produce great rewards.
The loan signing of Ethan Laird has shown promise already. The pacey wing-back looked excellent on his full debut and will be a key member of the first team for the remainder of the season.
Rhys Williams, Michael Obafemi, and Olivier Ntcham are all likely to become regular starters for the club this year, bolstering the spine of the team. Williams should immediately improve the makeshift Swansea back-three, while Ntcham will likely slot in behind Piroe and Obafemi.
The Swans were supposedly close to signing Tarique Fosu on loan from Brentford but pulled out of the deal after the club retained the services of Matt Grimes. Fosu would have been an excellent signing for the club, adding some much-needed creativity to a side who has struggled to find goals for quite some time. However, Ntcham and Obafemi should both contribute to Swansea’s goalscoring efforts.
Stay tuned for my next piece, looking at all the players who have left the Swans this summer.