This past Sunday marked the final day in the English Premier League for Swansea City, who were relegated to the Championship after securing only 33 points in 38 matches in league play. With news that a team is going down to the 2nd division, that generally means a team has to make decisions about their roster: which players will join them in the Championship and which will leave for another team?
Enter D.C. United, who as we all know share (at least) one owner with the Swans. Jason Levien, the managing partner of D.C. United, is also the majority owner of Swansea City. With this perceived partnership could come a prime opportunity for D.C. United to take on one or two players on loan or transfer to lessen the payroll for their sister club.
Which players should D.C. United consider from Swansea to bolster their ranks? Ryan Keefer and Donald Wine II break down a wish list of players that would look terrific in switching from Swansea white to Black-and-Red:
Oliver McBurnie (F) - 21, Wales
Ryan: This is a little sketchy, because assuming this whole Wayne Rooney thing happens, McBurnie would be joining a forward group that includes these two names, along with Darren Mattocks and Patrick Mullins. However, “Oli” finished his loan at Championship side Barnsley FC tied for the team lead in league goals (9) despite playing only 17 games, less than half of the other goalscorer Tom Bradshaw’s 43. With McBurnie’s loan coming to an end and Barnsley going down to League One from the Championship, the soon to be 22-year-old Scottish international who got his first cap against Ulises Segura’s Costa Rica side earlier this year can also play on the left side could serve to get a run or two with the Black-and-Red.
Jordan Ayew (F) - 26, Ghana
Donald: Jordan Ayew is a young striker that is incredibly fast, plays fast, and can score goals. Swansea was dead last in the EPL in goals scored this year (28), but in the league Jordan Ayew was able to produce. He led the team in goals (7) and added 4 more in cup play. Employed mostly at forward, he has also featured on the wing or also as a second striker or center attack mid. He has plenty of experience playing for Ghana on the international level, with 47 caps and 12 goals. Because of his speed (he led the Premier League in sprints), he can also track back on defense. He was 2nd on the team in tackles (82) and aerial battles won (52). His speed and his ability to finish could make him plenty dangerous in MLS, especially if a certain Wayne Rooney is alongside him.
Mike van der Hoorn (CB) - 25, The Netherlands
Ryan: I like Kofi Opare and would have hoped that he or Jalen Robinson were given the reins to partner with Steve Birnbaum at center back. And when Frederic Brillant’s deal expires (presumably) at the end of the year, I wouldn’t say no to a guy who’s 25, played several dozen games with Ajax and is a second choice CB at present on the depth chart.
Connor Roberts (RB) - 22, Wales
Donald: Connor Roberts is a right back that could get some seasoning, but has the ability to provide depth at a position where we have very little. Loaned out to Middlesbrough at the start of the season, he only had 1 appearance for The Boro before his loan ended and he returned to Swansea in January. For the Swans, he had 14 appearances, mostly at right back or right wing during FA Cup play. Roberts is an up-and-coming defender for Wales as well. He made his debut for the Welsh national team in March with a substitute appearance against Uruguay. Roberts could be a player that would provide quality depth and ever-improving play on the right side of the back line.
Jefferson Montero (LW) - 29, Ecuador
Ryan: Swans have him on a contract for another 2 years, he doesn’t turn 29 until September, he’s looking for minutes and has more than 50 appearances in the EPL and Liga MX (with Morelia), along with that same number with the Ecuador national team. The scoring touch might have dropped a little but he still has the speed in a way that sort of reminds of a higher level Patrick Nyarko, so if there’s an energy attacking sub to make, who knows?
Federico Fernández (CB) - 29, Argentina
Donald: Swansea’s captain, he’s under contract until 2020. But, Fernández has the pedigree that the Black-and-Red needs to improve their back line play. A center back for the Swans, he had 34 starts this past season in league and cup play and was the pacemaker for the club. He was 2nd in clearances (771), headed clearances (123), and aerial battles won (72). Even at 29, he’s exactly the type of defender we need to shore up our back line. He also has 32 caps for Argentina, including the 2014 World Cup, though he hasn’t had any caps since then. It would be a steal to grab Swansea’s captain, but maybe after being relegated, they’re looking to start fresh to work their way back up to the top flight.
There may be several other players that D.C. United would desire to pluck from Swansea City to bring to the District, but if the desire to get the two clubs to start collaborating together is an honest one, this wish list is a nice starting point to address some of the issues currently facing this squad.