Swansea City have signed Jonjo Shelvey for a fee of £6M from Liverpool. He’s only started seventeen times for the Reds in his three year spell at the club. Although he has made his England debut in this period which shows the success of this period for the 21-year-old. He has always been considered a huge talent but he is yet to push onto become a regular in the top flight. The fee may look high when compared to foreign players but if Swansea manage to get the England International to fulfill his undoubted potential, we could look back at this transfer as a great deal.
Despite only scoring once last season, Shelvey did in fact have a shooting accuracy of 56% which shows promise. His clear cut chance conversion of 13% is poor for an attacking midfielder, with many of these being complete sitters, something which the Liverpool fans have been critical of. Looking at Swansea’s main attacking midfielder, Jonathan De Guzman, who has a lower shooting accuracy of 36% but a far superior clear cut chance conversion of 40%. The Dutchman had 3 fewer clear cut chances than the former Liverpool midfielder, despite playing more matches. This shows Shelvey will offer a bigger goal threat than De Guzman so he may have been signed for that reason.
Shelvey will need to integrate into the dynamic passing style of Laudrup’s Swansea. Leon Britton who is regarded at the Welsh Xavi had a open play pass completion rate of 91% which is better than Shelvey who only managed 82%. This isn’t bad but Swansea will demand him to become more comfortable when passing the ball to ensure their style remains. As an attacking midfielder the England International will need to be more decisive in the final third where he only managed a pass completion rate of 68%, while the defensive minded Britton managed 83%. If Shelvey doesn’t improve his passing, especially in the final third, this move will not work out for him.
The 21-year-old may have to become more creative if he is to make the attacking midfield berth at Swansea his own. Wayne Routledge was a major creative force for Swansea last season but he only managed 4 assists. On the other hand Shelvey failed to make one assist last season. Routledge created a chance every 45 minutes while Shelvey only managed to create a chance every 71 minutes. The former Liverpool player didn’t create one clear chance, Routledge created 9. Shelvey isn’t very creative but if he is to play in the number 10 role at Swansea behind Michu, he will need to develop some more creativity as the two wingers can’t be relied on solely.
The signing of Shelvey will give Swansea a new option which Swansea haven’t really had before. Both Michu and Shelvey are good in the air, so if the Swans need a plan B, especially in Europe, they can be slightly more direct in the final third of the pitch. Swansea’s new signing won 47% of aerial 50-50’s last year which is impressive for an attacking player.
Michael Laudrup is moving quickly in the transfer market which will put Swansea in a strong position to attack the new season with the new arrivals bonding with their team mates over pre season. This will allow Laudrup to get all players comfortable with the Swansea style of play and plan for the Europa League campaign. Rotation will play an important role in Swansea’s season as Laudrup will have to be able to trust his entire squad to play in important matches. Pre season will show Laudrup any other areas of the squad that have to be strengthened.
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