Swans show promising touch on Dutch tour

Posted by Max Hicks

VI Images/Getty ImagesNew Swansea teammates Kenji Gorre and Wilfried Bony had much to smile about during the 1-0 win over ADO Den Haag Saturday.

In signing Wilfried Bony, Michael Laudrup has been able to slot the last significant piece of this coming season's jigsaw into place. There will be one or two minor moves to complete the picture in the coming weeks, mostly involving one-way tickets out of town for last season's squad players. There's also talk of a second striker, who could be anyone from Jordan Rhodes to Franco Di Santo, but will likely be whoever comes at a cut-down price given Swansea's record-setting spending so far this summer.

The Swans have signed five first-team calibre players already (six if you include the loan extension for Jonathan de Guzman), and footage from the Swans' recent Dutch tour suggests the new players appear to be mixing in well with last season's core.

Swansea played four matches in all, beating their opposition (mostly lower-league teams) by a combined 18-1. Laudrup took the opportunity to field different lineups in each half of each game, and although there were no real surprises with regard to player positions, it has been encouraging to see how the new players will fit in.

Despite the disparity between the Swans and their various opponents, the team generally looked sharp. Alejandro Pozuelo looks like a decent playmaker, Jose Canas is the high-motor defensive mid the Swans needed while Jordi Amat truthfully didn't have that much to do at the back.

Roland Lamah has both skill and pace, Wayne Routledge has apparently been practising his finishing, while it was business as usual for the bulk of the squad. Young striker Rory Donnelly also did well, netting a hat trick in the 10-0 showcase against Haaglandia, but one player in particular has been a pleasant surprise.

Jonjo Shelvey has already shown progress through his few appearances, and his range of passing is impressive. In Shelvey, the Swans appear to have a physically intimidating midfielder who will start deep in Laudrup's system, firing off long-range passes or surging forward to support the attack.

Here he is setting up Donnelly with a great outside of the boot pass. Here Shelvey wins the ball in a dangerous area before crossing for a Michu tap-in, and here he controls a slightly over-hit pass before running into space and supplying a decent cross. This is a great through ball from the half-way line for Routledge to score, and here's the kind of precision long pass which saw Shelvey so often compared with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. Shelvey's temperament. however, won't be tested until he plays in a few competitive matches, and that'll still be something to keep an eye on.

Kenji Gorre has also looked useful. Gorre was signed as a free agent before the glut of higher-profile signings in recent weeks, so it's been easy to forget about the ex-Manchester United man. However, the winger might yet have a role to play if the Swans' pursuit of more established wingers such as Nacer Chadli and Wakaso Mubarak comes to nothing. Here he is (No. 46) making an intelligent run and notching an assist against Haaglandia.

And of course there is Bony. The big Ivorian only played 45 minutes, against ADO Den Haag, but showed at least one of the skills he was signed for. The header might not have been his best, but he's certainly capable of better, and that should help the Swans add at least one more dimension to their attacking play this coming season.

The full Swans results on their Dutch tour:
FC Gravenzande 0-2 Swansea
Excelsior Maassluis 1-5 Swansea
Haaglandia 0-10 Swansea
ADO Den Haag 0-1 Swansea


Note: Videos from Swansea City FC

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