It's been a strange summer at Swansea City. The euphoria of Premier League survival at the Liberty Stadium was quickly followed up with the arrival of Tammy Abraham in south Wales as the Chelsea starlet on loan having turned down a string of offers from elsewhere.
Since then, however, it's all been rather frustrating. The dragging transfer saga on Gylfi Sigurdsson has made it difficult for Paul Clement to show the rest of his hand in the transfer market, with Everton told to cough up £50m for the Iceland international.
Swansea's only other incoming business this summer has been Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa, with the highly-rated playmaker arriving from Las Palmas for £11m. In addition to Abraham, who struck 23 times during his first senior season for Bristol City last season, goalkeeper Erwin Mulder has joined the club, but is likely to himself third-choice behind Lukasz Fabianski and Kristoffer Nordfeldt. Bafetimbi Gomis has cut ties with the club while Fernando Llorente, who scored 12 goals in his first season in England remains where he is for the time being.
Premier League: 15th
FA Cup: Third-round
EFL Cup: Third-round
Top scorer: Fernando Llorente (15)
Manager – Paul Clement
Clement was one of a clutch of managers to arrive half-way through the 2016-17 season, helping eradicate the memory of Bob Bradley and Francesco Guidolin to stabilise the club and confirm their status as a top flight club for another season. Carlo Ancelotti's former right-hand man at Real Madrid has endured tough spells in English football since stepping out on his own at Derby County, but the third man to take the reins at the Liberty that season took over the side that was rock bottom with 12 points from 19 games in January to finish 15<sup>th. With a whole campaign ahead of him, he will have the chance to show what he can really do.
Key player - Tammy Abraham
While Clement has assured Sigurdsson will be in his squad for Saturday's Premier League opener against Southampton, doubts will linger over his future for the remainder of the transfer window. Luckily for Clement however he has already brought in someone to help share the goal scoring burden that could be left on Fernando Llorente's shoulders in Abraham.
The Swans, and particularly Clement whose role in getting the deal done was key, saw off the lure of Newcastle United to snap up the 19-year-old on a season-long deal. Impressive performances for England Under-21s in the run-up to their Euro 2017 campaign only served to enhance his profile further and should he manage the step up, Swansea will be blessed with at least two reliable strikers next season. Many sides around them might not even have one.
Behind the strike force, Tom Carroll will have a pivotal role to play, perhaps even stepping in to fill the creative void should Sigurdsson depart. The former Tottenham Hotspur star thrived on the left-hand side of midfield after his arrival last January; more will be expected from him.
Despite Sigurdsson's uncertain future, Swansea acted decisively to address an area that is so often at the root of the problem for relegation-threatened sides up front. That, coupled with Clement's stabilising effect should ensure they maintain their Premier League status for another year.
IBT prediction – 15<sup>th
Swansea effectively lost the first-half of last season to mismanagement; in Clement they now have a solid base to start to rid themselves of those memories. A climb up the table is difficult to envisage at this early stage given the competition to around them, but a less tumultuous campaign should be expected.