Swansea set to sign Sigurdsson, Montero, see Davies, Vorm leave for Tottenham

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Whatever void Michu may have left by moving to Naples has been filled, perhaps twice over. According to reports out of England, Swansea City is about to add former Swan Gylfi Sigurdsson to its attacking midfield, with Ecuadorian international Jefferson Montero set to join him out wide.

The deals, which are expected to be completed by the middle of the week, will leave manager Garry Monk with a glut of options in attacking midfield. Jonjo Shelvey, Pablo Hernández, Nathan Dyer, and Wayne Routledge were already options at Monk’s disposal. With the acquisitions of Sigurdsson and Montero, however, there’s new competition for starting spots.

That competition doesn’t come without a price. Linked with Tottenham Hotspur for weeks, defender Ben Davies is set to move to North London in a straight swap for Sigurdsson. Starting goalkeeper Michel Vorm is also reportedly going to White Hart Lane in a separate deal, with former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski set to take over.

From The Guardian:

Negotiations with Spurs were being finalised on Monday night after several days of talks which paved the way for Sigurdsson to undergo a medical with Swansea. Davies moves to White Hart Lane to become the club’s first-choice left-back.

Vorm’s future has been in doubt ever since Swansea signed Lukasz Fabianski from Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of May. Fabianski agreed a four-year contract at Swansea and made it clear that he was joining to play first-team football. Vorm, who had claimed to be in the dark about Fabianski’s arrival, will join Spurs as understudy to Hugo Lloris.

Montero’s move is expected to cost Swans $6.8 million, a cut-rate that will give Monk a slew of choices; from the raw speed of Dyer and Routledge; to the more all-around skill of Hernández; to the passing of Sigurdsson; to the one-on-one ability of Montero. Particularly if both Wilfried Bony and Bafetimbi Gomis start up top, spots will be scarce in Swansea’s midfield.

But with a new wealth of attacking talent behind the strikers, Swansea may not end up playing Bony and Gomis together; instead, Monk may end up playing something closer to the single-striker set they’ve used over the last few seasons. If they do, Swans will go two deep at all four of their attacking positions.

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

AP Photo/LM Otero
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Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

[ MORE: Everton wins Europa opener ]

Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).