Paul Clement has admitted that fans are being short-changed by clubs who leave their top players on the sidelines.
As the transfer sagas revolving around Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk rumble on, both players were conspicuous by their absence at St. Mary’s where the Swans held on grimly for a point after a 0-0 draw in their Premier League opener.
Saints wasted countless chances, but it was the type of game the Swans would probably have lost 3-0 under former manager Bob Bradley last season.
Clement has added some grit and organisation to lean on during games where his team spend most of the time under the cosh, but the honesty shown on the pitch was reflected off it when the manager was asked about Sigurdsson’s slow crawl towards joining Everton.
Clement admitted clubs and supporters are missing out while their top stars remain out of action.
Swansea have opted not to select Sigurdsson as he edges ever closer to a big-money move and asked if everyone loses out when transfer sagas keep the best talent off the pitch, Clement replied: “Fans, team-mates, coaches, the viewers all around the world; absolutely.
“What would be a better situation would be if the transfer window closed before the start of the season.
“I don’t really understand why it goes to the end of August.
“I know there’s talks about that changing in future. And that’s my opinion that it should do.”
Swansea endured a testing time on the south coast as Southampton registered 29 attempts on goal.
Clement admitted his side were fortunate to sneak a point, then admitted he hopes for a quick resolution over Sigurdsson.
When quizzed on links to Stoke’s Joe Allen, Clement replied: “I’m not going to speak about incoming players.
“The only situation that’s important at the moment is the Gylfi Sigurdsson transfer situation.
“If that does go through then we can start acting on potential targets. I want to do that kind of stuff in private until there’s something certain.
“There’s a situation where both clubs have not agreed, there’s a difference of opinion on the valuation of the player. But I don’t think it’s far away now.”
In Sigurdsson’s absence, the Swans lacked creativity and failed to register a single shot on target, but Clement instead drew positives from a valiant defensive display.
“It was a hard afternoon, that’s for sure,” the Swans boss told Sky Sports. “It was tough going at times, we had to defend a lot.
“Southampton had a massive amount of shots on and off target, a huge amount of set plays – corners and free-kick – and we had to do a lot of last-gasp defending and saves.
“I’m sure they are going to be disappointed and be thinking how they haven’t won, but at the same time we’ve hung in until the very end, so overall, I’m pleased to have come away with a point.
“If you add that result to the ones at the end of last season we’re six games unbeaten in the Premier League, that’s not an easy thing to do. But we want to play better.”
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