Premier League 2015-16 season preview: Swansea City

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The only Welsh side in the Barclays Premier League, Swansea City is a team on the rise.

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After a season in which Swansea had it’s best finish and set a record points tally, the Swans have made some key summer signings that should help Garry Monk’s men continue their upward trend. Monk is one of the brightest young managers in the Premier League and had Swans playing some beautiful football last season, which saw him rewarded with a contract extension keeping him at the Liberty Stadium until 2018.

With wins last season over Manchester United, Arsenal, and Southampton, Swansea City is a team to watch out for.

Best possible XI:

— Fabianski —

— Naughton — Fernandez — Williams — Tabanou —

— Cork — Ki. S.Y. —

— Dyer — Sigurdsson — Ayew —

— Gomis —

Transfers in: Andre Ayew (Free, Marseille), Eder ($8 million, Braga), Franck Tabanou ($5.5 million, Saint-Etienne), Kristoffer Nordfeldt ($1 million, SC Heerenveen)

[ MORE: Full schedule for every PL club ]

Transfers out: Jazz Richards ($775,000, Fulham), Nelson Oliveira (End of loan, Benfica)

source: Getty Images
Gylfi Sigurdsson is one of the best free-kick takers in the PL.

Last season: Eighth in the Premier League — Swansea started last season with a win away at Manchester United, and they never looked back. The Swans had their best season in the Premier League, finishing in their highest position (8th) and with a record points total (56). The Welsh side pulled off the double over both Manchester United and Arsenal, and if it wasn’t for two losses in the final two matches of the season, the Swans would be playing in Europe this season.

Star player: Gylfi Sigurdsson — The Icelandic midfielder had a brilliant campaign for the Swans last season, finishing the year with seven goals and ten assists. The only two players to have more helpers were Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla, so Sigurdsson is in quite good company. The midfielder established himself as one of the best free-kick takers in the league, and any dead-ball situation from within 40 yards will be coming off of his foot and headed for goal. With the additions of Andre Ayew and Eder as well as Bafetimbi Gomis becoming more comfortable in his role, Sigurdsson will have more options to spread the ball to.

Monk’s work earned him a three-year extension this summer.

Coaches’ Corner: At 36-years-old, Garry Monk led Swansea to a record campaign in just his first full season as manager. Monk has been with the club since it’s League Two days, playing as a center-back for ten seasons before taking over on the touchline in 2014. One of the best young minds in the game, Monk had the Swans impressing many with their flowing game, but also knew how to grind out a win when needed.

PST predicts: Swansea City should not only be looking for another top-ten finish, but they should be pushing for another record setting season. Garry Monk now has a year of experience under his belt and has more options on the attack, as Andre Ayew should play a big role for the Swans. Their finish could depend on Bafetimbi Gomis, who will need to become a more consistent scorer to help Monk’s men push for European football.