In recent days, Swansea, along with Burnley and Leicester, has been linked with Hull City midfielder Sam Clucas. Clucas brings a season’s worth of Premier League experience with him and could potentially be a handy player for Swansea City.
Many when they first think of Sam Clucas, describe him as a left sided Winger. Whilst it’s true he started his career here — starting for Chesterfield as their creative left winger in their 14/15 season, since his move to Hull, Clucas has been moved into a more dynamic midfield role, acting as a box to box midfielder. Last season, he featured in 26 games in the midfield role, often complementing Tom Huddlestone and initially, Jake Livermore throughout the season. That’s not to say he has exclusively been used there, however. He has also featured at both left back and left midfield this season, demonstrating his ability as a utility player.
Looking at him statistically, we get a clear understanding of what he may bring to Swansea’s midfield. In terms of tackles per game, Clucas averaged 2.4 a game ranking him as the 26th most productive tackler in the Premier League last season. This statistic only becomes more impressive when looking at Swansea’s squad — where only Kyle Naughton and Jay Fulton averaged higher. In terms of interceptions too, only Jack Cork averaged more than Clucas compared to the other Swansea midfielders.
One criticism of Clucas, however, would be his lack of offensive production. In his sole season in the Premier League — Clucas only played a part in 4 goals, 3 of them scored himself. One of Hull’s main reasons for going down was their lack of goals, and surely some of the blame can be attributed to Clucas. However, given the position change, along with his first season of top-flight football — it’s not a major point of concern.
The question of where exactly Clucas would feature is perhaps the biggest concern with the signing. Given last season Paul Clement favoured a midfield three of Fer, Carroll and Cork, it’s not exactly clear where Clucas fits in. Cork is very much the key cog in the midfield, acting as a destroyer, while Tom Carroll’s place as the diminutive playmaker will be challenged by the impending signing of Roque Mesa from Las Palmas. The most obvious place would be to replace Leroy Fer, although, given his turn of form under Paul Clement, and his knack for goal scoring, this seems unlikely.
Perhaps the most obvious place for Clucas would be returning to the wing. However given Sigurdsson’s significance to Swansea City, Clucas would be something of an underwhelming replacement for him, should the Icelandic international depart the club. Alternatively, Wayne Routledge’s spot is likely up for grabs, especially when we consider that the former Spurs man is certainly in the twilight of his career at age 32.
Clucas would very much be a luxury signing for Swansea City. The midfielder lacks a clear spot in the side, and with the cost likely being upwards of £10 million, the deal seems unlikely. It’s clear that Swansea’s main aim for the summer will be to keep hold of their talisman, Gylfi Sigurdsson. With the signings of Roque Mesa, along with the talent, Swansea have in the reserve of their midfield — the likes of Fulton and Ki — Swansea would be better served spending their money on a long term replacement for Fernando Llorente.
Article written by Dylan Hughes, on Twitter as @dghd14