Opinion: Why Swansea City need to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to signing before new appointment arrives

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Swansea City are in a sticky situation at the moment after a move for John Eustace reportedly collapsed yesterday.

However, it’s not just the managerial situation proving to be a problem at the moment, but their goalkeeping department as well.

After Freddie Woodman’s departure back to Newcastle United on the expiration of his loan deal, the Swans only have Ben Hamer and Steven Benda as options who have rarely played a single game combined for the club, not exactly the ideal situation with under a fortnight to go until the new season.

To make things worse, AFC Bournemouth have already agreed a loan deal with the Magpies to take last season’s loanee Freddie Woodman to the Vitality Stadium, although Martin Dubravka’s foot injury is currently keeping the 24-year-old at St James’ Park.

However, with a deal having been previously agreed and the Cherries just as desperate for a keeper right now, Scott Parker’s side are likely to be offered Woodman first, potentially ruling the Welsh side out of the race.

This, combined with the uncertainty surrounding Dubravka’s injury, is why the Swans need to move on to other targets as they potentially look to tie down another shot-stopper down before the start of the new season.

Despite many high-profile departures in recent years, including Dan James and Oliver McBurnie, Swansea’s shareholders seem to be reluctant to reinvest that money into a larger kitty for a manager to spend and this contributed to Steve Cooper’s departure according to The Telegraph’s John Percy.

With this in mind then, they may want to see another loan keeper come in or recruit a free agent with time running out until their Championship opener against Blackburn Rovers.

Tony Mowbray’s side may not be in much better shape with their lack of signings, but they still have 28-goal striker Adam Armstrong at their disposal currently and this just reinforces the perilous position Swansea are in with their current goalkeeping dilemma.

They need someone who’s played regularly in the last 12 months to hit the ground running.

Although pursuing a loan deal could be a cheaper option for Swansea considering the parent club may even be willing to take on a chunk of the keeper’s wages, a move for a free agent could be a much quicker process with no club in the way of negotiations.

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At this stage, speed is everything with less and less time available for a new signing to settle in during pre-season before the new campaign gets underway.

This is where Marcus Bettinelli comes in.

Although the 29-year-old was released by Fulham this month on the expiry of his contract, his loan spell at Middlesbrough last season shows he’s still a solid Championship option to have and with a deal yet to be tied up for him, Swansea should be all over this even though they don’t have a manager in place.

The Swans’ hierarchy have identified an attractive style of play as one of the things they want from a new appointment at the Liberty Stadium, something Bettinelli should be able to handle with his experience. And the fact he’s never been known to cause problems in the dressing room just goes to show this would be a low-risk signing and one that would be fully utilised by any new appointment.

It’s a no-brainer for the Welsh outfit as a longer-term replacement for Ben Hamer who only has one year left on his deal.

However, it may take some persuading for the 29-year-old to stay in the Championship considering he’s linked with a move to Premier League big guns Arsenal and Chelsea.

As part of this, they must convince his days as a regular starter aren’t over just yet.

Bettinelli would likely be taking on a Scott Carson Manchester City-esque role with Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga as existing goalkeeping options at the Blues and Arsenal already targeting Aaron Ramsdale to compete with Bernd Leno.

He may get a bigger pay packet in the capital, but he would get much more playing time in the Championship and it’s now down to Swansea to persuade Bettinelli to wait a few more years before taking a backseat in the football world.

It may not be enough in isolation, but making a potential new singing feel wanted will go a long way in giving the Swans over other sides in the race and with so little time before the opening day, this is a battle they should enter and win.

If they can win the race, they will have the sufficient competition required for both Bettinelli and Hamer to maintain their performance levels, giving any new appointment one less position to worry about.

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