Manager Brendan Rodgers paid back his former employers at Reading with a crushing defeat at Wembley Stadium, in the Championship play-off final today. And whilst he is enjoying a shandy, I can recommend five players he might want to spend his newly acquired millions on. Rodgers has shown a keen eye for talent, and has his Swansea side playing a nice passing style of football. But he will obviously need to shore up the spine of the team before August.
Millwall FC boss, Kenny Jackett, knows that he might have to face life without Steve Morison next season, even though it is not certain where the prolific striker might end up. The Welshman has had a prolific career in front of goal and has proved himself at every level except the Premier League. It might be considered a gamble to take players who don't have the EPL experience, as he already has a squad of those, but Rodgers will have to take calculated risks. Scott Sinclair wasn't considered good enough for Chelsea, but the young striker will have his chance to prove he is for the Premier League next season.
Morison has scored 35 goals in 83 appearances for Millwall, and he could be the perfect partner for Sinclair, with his strength, aerial ability and scoring prowess.
England international Matthew Upson is out of contract this summer, but at age 32, it is unlikely EPL sides pushing for honours would be interested in his signature. With years of top flight experience, Upson could be a perfect fit for Swansea, and not an unrealistic target for Brendan Rodgers. Swansea might also be able to negotiate a good deal in respect of Upson's wages with West Ham United going the other way.
Former Manchester United youngster David Jones has attracted interest from several clubs and has been linked with Bolton Wanderers FC. Like Upson, Jones is out of contract at Wolves this summer, after failing to agree on terms. Still only 26 years old, Jones is capped at the England under-21 level, and clearly has the potential when given a consistent run on a side. Jones can also chip in with vital goals from midfield and in a loan spell with Nijmegen in the Dutch league, he scored six goals in 17 appearances.
He only made 11 appearances for Wolves last term, but has Premier League experience to bring with him to the Swansea midfield.
Midfielder Jobi McAnuff was on the losing side today, but was signed by Rodgers for Reading in 2009. At capturing his signature back then, the now Swansea manager said, “Jobi is a big talent...he can create and score goals. He has experience, terrific speed, great technical qualities and he’s a great guy.”
Clearly a big admirer, it would make sense for Rodgers to go back to his old haunt to get a player he has a huge amount of confidence in. McAnuff has played most of his football on the fringes of the EPL, playing for top Championship sides. With Rodgers' preferred playing style, McAnuff would fit easily in to the Swansea set-up, and could provide for Sinclair (and possibly Morison) whilst contributing to the season's goal tally himself.
Swansea fans wouldn't forgive me without a glamour signing in this piece, but the player I have chosen might upset a few. Striker Craig Bellamy may have wanted to move nearer to home when signing for Cardiff, but he is not one for staying in one place. And I can't see him caring about how distraught the Cardiff fans would be with him moving south to their fiercest rivals.
Whilst Swansea fans might also not like this idea, with Dave Jones gone, Bellamy has an excuse. A move to another Welsh club doesn't go back on his reason for wanting to sign for Cardiff in the first place. So the opportunity may be there if Rodgers wants to pay his wages, and he could easily make the difference between survival in the Premiership and relegation back to the Championship in May 2012.
And I promise you Swansea fans, when he starts banging in the goals, you won't care.