Arsenal are poised to swoop for Swansea favourite, Ki Sung Yueng according to various reports.
Ki was a major asset during last season when Swansea finished 8th place, and this appears to have not gone unnoticed by the biggest clubs.
Ki, 26, was named Swansea City player-of-the year for his fantastic contributions over the course of last season. This is all the more remarkable considering the somewhat tentative start that he made in a Swansea jersey in 2012 following his move from Celtic.
A player of Ki’s ability simply needed the chance to settle in after being offloaded to Sunderland for a loan spell under Laudrup, but Garry Monk realised his potential and made Ki an integral part of his plans.
Whether or not Ki is released to Arsenal might depend on the asking price, with Swansea reportedly prepared to settle for around £15m for the South Korean captain.
Another factor might be whether Ki is willing to jeopardise first team regular football despite the tantalising prospect of playing for a top club.
“It’s meaningful if a big club pays attention to me,” Ki told South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily. “I think this happened because of my performance this season. The best team for me is the team where I can play on the field.”
Ki made a name for himself by bossing the midfield and adding fluidity and composure to a midfield which had already won plaudits for its creative passing game. He was also Swansea’s top league scorer with eight goals- only two behind Gomis overall when including the FA cup and League cup.
“He is an all-rounder, he has the physique, power and technique and everything you want,” is what Garry Monk has said about the 1.86m, 79kg defensive midfielder.
Monk’s assessment is backed up by Ki’s statistics during the last few campaigns. One of the best passing midfielders in the Premiership, Ki completed a whopping 92.43% of his passes successfully in the 2013 season, making him a very close second to Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.
His pass rate of 89.8% for last season still ranks as right up there amongst the elite players, whilst at the same time other areas of his game have improved considerably, notably his willingness to get forward and convert chances.
What is clear is that the South Korean will be sorely missed if he does exit the Liberty. Monk and the Swansea faithful will be hoping that last Augusts 4 year contract will be enough to keep Ki a central part of Swansea’s push to improve on last season’s heroics.
Considering the possible addition of big name strikers such as Chelsea’s Loic Remy, and the expansion of the squad to include Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, St Etienne defender Franck Tabanou, and Ghana striker Andre Ayew, it has been a busy transfer window for the Swans.
With the imminent departure of Michu to West Ham for a reported £4m and the possibility of a shock move for captain Ashley Williams by Crystal Palace for a reported fee of £12m, Swansea might be looking at big changes to their personnel for the coming season.
For now, it is safe to say that Monk will be hoping to kick off with Ki Sung Yeung ready for battle amongst his ranks.