In a year where Swansea lacked direction and motivation, Paul Clement proved to be an inspirational appointment as he guided the Swans to Premier League survival from a pretty perilous position.
The humble Brit harnessed all the information and tidbits about football management he picked up from his impressive and glittering career as a coach working primarily under Carlo Ancelotti at the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich to reinvent Swansea in his image.
Picking up 26 points from 18 games in charge, Clement did enough to prove he does have what it takes to star in a leading role at a top football club after flaming out at Derby two years ago.
As history shows, a lot of managers can come into a club at the drop of a hat and play the ‘firefighter’ role, providing that spark to pull a team out of the relegation dogfight, but it’s a much tougher job to change the mentality at a club and take them forward, and that’s the task Clement faces.
His inexperience at the top level has made him one of the favourites to be sacked first next season, and you can use this Bet365 welcome offer to sign up and place a bet on the market ahead of the new campaign which starts in just over a month’s time.
Clement hasn’t wasted any time to try and stamp his authority on the Swansea squad. Borja Baston, a major flop purchase last summer, has been sent back to La Liga and in to replace him is Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham on loan.
The England U21 star netted 26 goals in 48 games during a loan spell with Bristol City last season and is ready to make his impact in the Premier League.
Having worked with Clement at Chelsea, Abraham should be able to slot straight into the Swansea side seamlessly and make an instant impact, especially with the benefit of a full pre-season schedule behind him.
In addition, Swansea have welcomed Roque Mesa to the club from Las Palmas. Mesa was one of the most proficient passers in La Liga last season, giving Clement’s side a real quality ball player in the middle of the park, something they’ve lacked since Jonjo Shelvey left for Newcastle.
He may be inexperienced as a manager, but as a coach, Clement knows how to make best use of the hand he’s dealt, and it looks like as if he’s picking up the right cards along the way as well.