Jose Canas

Watch Live: Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion (Lineups and Discuss)

Leave a comment

Both Swansea and West Brom could use a result on Saturday, but it’s likely the visitors will be more desperate for points from the match at Liberty Stadium (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

The hosts will be smarting after last week’s draw with Crystal Palace, as the incident that led to Palace’s penalty appeared to have taken place outside the area. But Swansea will need to simply shake off the cobwebs and move forward, as, with just 29 points, they’re only four points above the drop and are in serious need of a little cushioning.

West Brom, on the other hand, are even on points with 18th-placed Cardiff, although at least they have a game in hand. But considering Pepe Mel has yet to win a match since being appointed on January 9th, it’s tough to believe the rest of the Baggies’ season will be an easy one. But the visitors will have to do better than last week’s 3-0 lost to Manchester United…right?

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

Chico Flores is out after seeing red last weekend, so it’s Jordi Amat that steps in. Up front, Gary Monk has tinkered with his attack some, keeping Wilfried Bony up top but replacing Pablo Hernández with José Cañas, as the former picked up an injury last week. It’s Roland Lamah in for Nathan Dyer, but the biggest news must be that Michu is back and on the bench.

Mel shuffles his lineup somewhat after last week’s poor showing. Victor Anichebe keeps his place up top, but Zoltán Gera drops to the bench, while Morgan Amalfitano and Chris Brunt are out. Instead it’s Stéphane Sessègnon and Graham Dorrans – getting his first start since opening day. Craig Dawson steps up in the back, James Morrison replaces Claudio Yacob and, from the way the Baggies wrote their lineup, it looks like Liam Ridgewell is playing in midfield. Anything is possible when you’ve got nothing to lose.

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton, Canas, de Guzman, Routledge, Lamah, Bony.

Subs: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Taylor, Hernandez, Emnes, Michu, Lita

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Reid, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Ridgewell, Sessegnon, Anichebe

Subs: Myhill, O’Neil, Vydra, Gera, Berahino, Sinclair, Thievy

Swansea: quickly becoming a rising star under everyone’s noses

1 Comment

Who saw this coming?

As recent as 2011, Swansea City were a member of the Championship, and were even down in League One just six years ago.

Now, only two years removed from promotion, Swansea are much more than a Premier League staple – they could be challenging for Europe.

A meteoric rise such as this should warrant more media attention than it has. Instead, Swansea are going about business as they have for their entire stay in the Premier League – completely under the radar.

With Sky Sports reporting today that Swansea have signed Slovenian goalkeeper Gregor Zabret, another piece of shrewd and positive business comes through the Welsh club with little to no fanfare.

At just 17 years old, Zabret had a trial with Swansea in February and spoke of his dream to play in England.  That dream is coming true, and for Swansea it’s a wonderful addition of youth talent for practically nothing. With current keeper Michel Vorm attracting more and more attention, it’s possible that Zabret could make appearances sooner rather than later.

That’s not all they’ve done this summer, but nobody’s taken any notice, as usual.

The Swans have also secured the services of 26-year-old holding midfielder Jose Cañas from Real Betis on a free transfer.  With the success of Swansea’s exploits into the Spanish transfer market, to get a player of Cañas’s experience (72 matches for Betis over the last three seasons) is wonderful for literally nothing out of pocket.

Cañas will join Angel Rangel, Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez as the growing Spanish talent in Swansea gets larger.

The crown jewel of them all, also part of that Spanish crowd, may be their most important bit of business yet this summer.

So far Swansea have successfully kept hold of Michu, who arrived from Rayo Vallecano last summer for a measly £2.2 million ($3.3 million) and proceeded to crash the Premier League party with 18 goals.

That’s £120K per goal.

The summer isn’t over yet, but it looks promising for Swansea fans on the Michu front, and it’s clear the player sees what’s happening with his club.

On that same note, another wonderful bit of business by the Welsh side again involves not an incoming figure but one who they’ve managed to keep from leaving – Michael Laudrup.

Amid fervorous speculation that the manager could find a better club and contract at Real Madrid, PSG, and the like, Laudrup has stood his ground saying last week, “I have repeated it so many times in the last three months. My intention is to stay.”

Laudrup may not have the greatest relationship with chairman Huw Jenkins, but it’s enough to keep the club running at the very least, and if the last year in transfer dealings have anything to say for it, it’s much more than that.

The Danish manager reiterated the club’s transfer policy recently, preferring to do dealings behind everyone’s back and avoiding media attention. “We are continuing to work behind the scenes, in private wherever and whenever we can, to strengthen our squad” said Laudrup.  It shows.

Finally, a little more under the spotlight than the previous mentions, Swansea are on the verge of signing coveted Ivorian international Wilfried Bony.  It’s not come off yet, as his club Vitesse Arnhem are being standoffish, and Swansea still have to figure out how to pay him his wages, which are off their pay scale.

However, Bony himself stated his admiration for the Swans, saying, “Swansea is a wonderful club. It’s my chance to play in the Premier League and they also play attractive football. I understood from my agent that Swansea want to pay €12million for me and that is what Vitesse want to receive, so I hope there is some good news soon.”

If they can complete that deal, Swansea could become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.  They already have silverware under their belt, having won the League Cup last season, and Europe could be on the horizon.

UPDATE: Now Swansea have announced League Cup final hero Jonathan de Guzman will be returning for a second season-long loan from Villareal next year.  It just keeps getting better for the Swans.

Swansea sign Real Betis midfielder Jose Canas

Leave a comment

Swansea City have signed Real Betis midfielder Jose Canas to a pre-contract deal that will be ratified once the transfer window opens on July 1.

Canas arrives at The Liberty Stadium after a successful stint with Betis has come to an end with the expiration of his contract. The 26 year old plays as a holding midfielder and is well-known for his battering tackles and seamless distribution of the ball on the counter-attacks. These characteristics made him a fixture in Pepe Mel’s side, making 27 appearances over the course of the season.

The Swans capture Canas cost-free as his contract is set to expire in the coming weeks. Michael Laudrup’s gain is Betis’ loss after the Verdiblancos turned down a £843,000 bid from Swansea this past January, believing they needed to hold on to the player to ensure qualification for Europe.

Canas joins the Swans as they prepare for their first European experience next campaign, after Laudrup’s side qualified for the Europa League by winning the League Cup.

Signing Canas should help deflate the recent tension in South Wales between Laudrup and chairman Huw Jenkins over the level of transfer funds available for the Danish manager. Following the announcement of Canas’ signing, Jenkins said:

Myself, the manager and our recruitment staff are all agreed on the quality of players we would like to sign to help us remain competitive in the Barclays Premier League.

We are continuing to work behind the scenes, in private wherever and whenever we can, to strengthen our squad.

For that reason it’s disappointing that I have to respond to the speculation of unrest at the club after the fantastic season we have had.

There are substantial funds available to strengthen our squad over the summer while we are also in the privileged position, because of the way we’ve managed our finances over the years, that we do not need to sell anyone to fund those new recruits.

Canas becomes the fifth Spaniard to sign with Swansea after Chico Flores, Pablo Hernandez and Michu all came on board under Laudrup, while Angel Rangel has been with the club since 2007. Canas will compete with Ki Sung-Yeung and Leon Britton for a role in the pivot that Laudrup utilizes in his 4-2-3-1 scheme.

While Canas is an effective player that will have an impact at the Liberty, he’s unlikely to unseat either of the old guard but rather spell them late in matches or on days of heavy fatigue, which is bound to happen as Swansea begins their Thursday night stints in Europe.