Carlos Carvalhal says losing key players led to Swansea's Premier League relegation
Carvalhal says deals were agreed for Atletico Madrid duo Nicolas Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro
Last Updated: 19/08/18 7:22pm
Carlos Carvalhal says losing Leroy Fer, Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony contributed heavily to Swansea's relegation from the Premier League.
The Portuguese manager moved to the Welsh club at the end of December last year with the task of steering them to Premier League safety. After an improvement in results, including a nomination for the Premier League Manager of the Month award in January, he was unable to stop Swansea's relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.
Speaking on Goals on Sunday, Carvalhal says losing vital players in January and missing out on Atletico Madrid pair Nicolas Gaitan and Kevin Gamiero played a significant part in their downfall.
"At the end of January, we took decisions to loan one or another player," Carvalhal told Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara.
"In the first or second week you lose three players very important to us; Leroy Fer and Renato Sanches. They were both starters and our preference in the middle in that moment and we lost both those players. We also lost Wilfried Bony through injury.
"A team that is not in a good position and can't bring players like that in... when we talked about lobsters in that moment I was talking about Gaitan and Gameiro from Atletico Madrid. Argentina and France internationals.
"We expected them both to come because we accepted figures with Atletico and was all in a good way, but the players decided they did not want to go to a team that could get relegated so we respected that.
"With this problem that we couldn't improve the team and lose three special, important players made things very difficult for us."
Swansea appeared more defensive minded as a team in the final few months of the season, and Carvalhal believes that was down to missing striker Jordan Ayew for three matches due to suspension.
He added: "We lost Ayew. A red card against Huddersfield. We lose him in that game and after that he was out for three games. He was a very important player to us because he is the one who keeps the ball in the attack, keeps the ball and drives the ball and wait for the midfielder to go to attack.
"We lost not just midfielders, not just Bony but also Ayew in a very important period.
"The team, although set out to play the same, instinctively did not attack the same way because we did not have the same players to attack the same way. The style changed but not because we wanted that change."