Swansea City actually won a game, for just the third time since late August, when they last took the pitch in the Premier League, defeating Crystal Palace 2-1 under the guidance of interim boss Alan Curtis. Since then, former Chelsea assistant Paul Clement has taken over and while his reign got off to a disappointing start with a 2-0 loss to Hull City in the FA Cup third round, there’s a bit of optimism around the club with a new assistant coach (Claude Makélélé), one new signing (PSV’s Luciano Narsingh) and a renewed intent to keep the club’s biggest names like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente.
“You need to keep your best players and Gylfi and Fernando are two of the best players the team has got. You’d possibly expect interest in them, but they’re signed and contracted here and I want to keep them.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with both of them already, they appear to be very motivated and focused on what we need to do to move this team forward.”
“I can’t say anything will or won’t happen, and there’s a lot of speculation and gossip. But there’s been no conversation between me and the players, the players and the club, or the players and other clubs. So it’s just business as usual, getting down to work.”
-Paul Clement; source: BT Sport
On the Llorente-to-Chelsea rumors specifically, Clement revealed that there’s actually been no contact at all, which, just as when Sky reported this “development”, makes little sense if we’re actually trying to sign him.
“Fernando is a very good player, he has experience at the highest level and is important to this team.”
“It’s just links, there’s been no contact.”
-Paul Clement; source: Evening Standard
Clement (and now Makélélé) have their work cut out for them, especially with Swansea set to face Arsenal and Liverpool over the next two matchdays (and then follow that up with Southampton, Manchester City, Leicester City, and Chelsea!). Only three points separate the current bottom four, and only one can survive.