In the latest Nacer Chadli news, Swansea City are said to be increasing their efforts to complete a deal for the West Brom attacking midfielder. The Belgium will command a fee in the region of £25mil. Tony Pulis has been open in admitting his relationship with Chadli is strained as he seeks a move to Wales.
Position: attacking left midfielder, can also play across the line or left midfield
Reported Transfer Fee: £25mil
2016/17 League Stats: 27 starts (4 sub appearances) 5 goals (5 assists)
Verdict: Looking at last season’s league table this isn’t an obvious one to understand. West Brom had a very good season, arguably over-achieving as they finished 10th. Their start to this season has been just as impressive. Swansea on the other hand flirted with relegation all season and it took a remarkable turn-around under Paul Clement to save a team which had looked destined for relegation at one point. So why would Chadli, who equally impressed, want to leave for a team, who to this point, have been performing worst?
West Brom’s form has been built on defence. Pulis asks a lot from his players, with even the attacking players expected to take on their share of defensive responsibility. Chadli has impressed but not many players in the West Brom side are afforded the luxury of being able to fully express themselves. You can understand why some players, especially those attacking in nature, may become frustrated.
Whilst Swansea finished below West Brom in the league table, they still scored more than them lasst season. Whilst they are known as having a very clear philosophy of wanting to play football the ‘right way’. Whereas West Brom rely on defending well and set-pieces to an extent, Swansea like to get the ball down and play, favouring a patient, probing approach. Admittedly the club has been on the decline for the last few years but there’s a real feeling around the club that since the appointment of Clement they are starting to have an upturn in fortunes.
Clement may be relatively inexperienced as a manager, his ill-fated time at Derby being his only other job as a manager of course but nonetheless he still has a decent reputation not just in England but also Europe having assisted Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
The style of football and type of management is likely a key factor in Chadli’s motivation of wanting to leave West Brom whilst it would be naive to forget the financial benefits that go hand-in-hand with transfers.
With the lost of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Swansea are in need of extra quality in the attacking positions of the pitch. Clucas is a good solid addition who is an improvement on who is already present. Chadli however would be extra step-up again in quality to what is currently at Clement’s disposal. I’m actually not convinced Narsingh, Montero, Dyer or Routledge are good enough for the Premiership, certainly not week in, week out.
Given the breakdown in his relationship with Pulis and the fact West Brom would be getting a good profit on the £13mil they paid a year ago to Spurs, cashing in might be sensible. They also recently signed young winger Oliver Burke. Whilst Matt Phillips impressed last season and Jay Rodriguez has started well this season. So losing him would be far from a disaster as they do have options.
This is another one of those rumours, with consistent links, which just hasn’t gone away and when all that happens that usually means there must be some truth to it. There have been quieter suggestions that Leicester may be interested and I feel that competition for Chadli’s signature is the only thing which is going to get in Swansea’s way right now.
Chadli may still prefer Swansea given their greater enthusiasm though anyway. So it looks like this could be the end of his West Brom career and the start of his Swansea one.
Will Chadli move to Swansea? Are you surprised no other clubs are more firmly in the frame? Let me know below.