At the end of the 2016/17 season Swansea fans were relieved to have maintained their Premier League status after a torrid campaign. The sacking of Francesco Guidolin led to the disastrous appointment of American Bob Bradley. Bradley had a win rate below 20% and after his last game on Boxing Day, most assumed that Swansea would be relegated.
Fortunately for the Jack Army, Paul Clement was appointed. The inexperienced manager had struggled at Derby but enjoyed great success as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea. The Englishman saved the Welsh side from seemingly inevitable relegation and picked up an astonishing 28 points from 18 games.
The end of the season saw Swansea fans feeling buoyant and optimistic about the next campaign. However, this season has not unfolded as many had hoped. The Swans once again find themselves at the wrong end of the table with many questioning how it has come to this.
The main issue for Swansea this season has been scoring goals. The South Wales side have had the fewest shots in the Premier League and scored only seven goals. The inability to score goals comes after letting Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente leave in the summer. These two players were the key to Swansea's survival bid with the partnership contributing a high percentage of the Swans' goals.
Swansea were heavily reliant on Llorente last season, making signing a striker a top priority. The Spaniard was replaced with Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham and former fan favourite Wilfied Bony. Whilst Abraham has proved to be a success so far this season, Bony has been sidelined for most matches through injury.
The lateness of Bony's transfer was puzzling for Swans fans as it was no secret that Manchester City were looking to offload the Ivorian. The date of the deal meant that the 28-year-old, who had barely featured for Stoke and Man City, did not have time to improve his fitness ahead of the start of the new campaign. As a result, Bony has suffered a string of injuries which has limited him to two appearances this season, and contributed to Swansea's inability to score goals.
Swansea's goal scoring woes were also created through the sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson was Swansea's creative spark during their difficult campaign and was involved in nearly 50% of all goals scored. Replacing the Icelandic international was therefore another top priority for the Swans. Paul Clement opted to use his links at Bayern Munich to sign Sigurdsson's replacement in the form of Renato Sanches.
On the face of it Swansea looked to have pulled off the coup of the window, signing one of Europe's hottest talents. However, since signing for the Swans the Golden Boy award winner has failed to impress. Sanches' inability to make a difference for Clement is not entirely surprising - once again, Swansea tried to replace an experienced Premier League player in good form with someone who had barely played any football in the previous season.
From these two examples it is clear that the main reason for Swansea's failure to score goalshas been recruitment. The club's failure to replace key players has left the manager struggling for firepower and with a squad which he has labelled imbalanced.
There is still hope for Swansea City. There have only been 11 games played and Clement has proved that he is able to get the squad winning in a short space of time. Paramount to the Swans' survival is keeping the manager and backing him in the January window.