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Swansea V Everton at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

Updated 21 Dec 2013 13:31:00

Swansea V Everton at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

Swansea V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Laudrup reveals Lukaku loan bid

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup claims he missed out on the chance to sign Everton forward Romelu Lukaku because Chelsea insisted they wanted to keep the Belgian powerhouse.


Lukaku has been a sensation since moving to Goodison Park on a season-long loan, scoring eight Premier League goals to propel the Toffees into the battle for Champions League qualification.


Swansea had themselves been interested in bringing in Lukaku, who also excelled at West Brom last season, on loan but brought in Wilfried Bony having been told by the Blues that the 20-year-old would be staying at Stamford Bridge.


Laudrup said: "We asked about him.


"I didn't call again because Chelsea said they wanted to keep him , but maybe I should have called again.


"He is a real talent. He is fast, can use both feet, he is strong, he is good in the air and is good on the counter-attack.


"He has been a huge signing for them."


Another man to make a big impression under former Swansea boss Roberto Martinez has been midfielder Ross Barkley.


The 20-year-old was first blooded by David Moyes, but Martinez has given the youngster the authority to run Everton's attacking play and has been rewarded with a string of excellent displays which have thrust him into contention for a World Cup place.


Laudrup enjoyed an illustrious playing career as one of Europe's classiest midfielders with the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid.


The Dane has called for a patient approach to developing Barkley.


"You have to take it easy," he said. "I really like him but young players need to be given time.


"Do not rush it after 10 or 15 games and say they are a new superstar in world football. Let them grow.


"He has potential like Jack Wilshere at Arsenal. He is really something special but you have to give them two or maybe three years to maintain a certain level.


"They are young players who will have ups and downs and if you push them too hard then you put a lot of pressure on their shoulders and it is difficult."


Looking at his own squad, Laudrup also revealed he is now unlikely to bring in a goalkeeper in January, despite Michel Vorm having undergone knee surgery earlier this week.


The Dutchman's absence leaves Swansea with teenagers Gregor Zabret and Oliver Davies as support to Gerhard Tremmel.


Everton boss Roberto Martinez is looking forward to the prospect of taking on his old club Swansea - something he admits still stirs great emotions within him.


Martinez played for the Swans between 2003 and 2006, during which time they narrowly avoided being relegated from the Football League, gained promotion to League One and then moved from the Vetch Field to their current ground.


The Spaniard was the Welsh outfit's captain and in 2007 he came back to take over as manager, subsequently guiding them to the League One title in 2008.


A year later he moved to Wigan, where he stayed for four seasons before leaving over the summer to take up his current post with Everton.


He has already returned to Swansea on two occasions with the Latics, and ahead of this weekend's trip as Toffees boss, Martinez said: "It brings great emotions for me, because as you can imagine I have a very soft spot for Swansea - not just as a former manager, but as a former player and captain.


"To be a foreign player who was the captain of that club in such a specific period of their history was a memory that I will never forget."


Swansea have continued to play the same sort of flowing football, with Paulo Sousa, then Brendan Rodgers and now Laudrup in charge, that they did under Martinez - a style similar to that of his current Everton team.


Martinez insists "this match is not about managers", but added: "It is a very important one for both clubs - two teams with a very similar football philosophy.


"It is going to be real fight to control the football and a real test for us.


"I think what Swansea have achieved over the last 10 years is incredible and that they are just showing a real model of how to develop a way of playing and how to be successful with it.


"I know it is going to be really tough, but it is a game that we are looking forward to."


Everton have James McCarthy back available for this Premier League game, with the midfielder having completed his suspension for collecting five bookings this season.


On-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks with the hamstring injury he sustained against Fulham, and Tony Hibbert (knee) is not yet ready for first-team involvement again.


Fellow defender Leighton Baines is continuing to work his way back from a broken toe, with Boxing Day's home clash against Sunderland looking likely right now as the point at which he will be able to make his return to match action.






PA

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