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Barca parallel means Cardiff World Cup star should switch to Swansea

| 08.05.2014

Javier Mascherano and Javi Martinez are just two of the players across Europe that have had success when it comes to being converted from a defensive option in the middle of midfield to a capable central defender.

Mascherano has been a mainstay of the Barcelona rearguard for the best part of four seasons, while Martinez has spent some time at centre half for both Athletic Bilbao and Bayern Munich.

The reasons for the decision is that although such players may not be as efficient in a positional sense in comparison to someone brought up playing at the heart of the defence, they have better quality on the ball to launch attacks from deep.

These improvised defensive options are ideal for teams that like to, and regularly, dictate possession and attempt to pass the ball out of defence, rather than rely on the long ball.

When it comes to a Premier League team attempting to play football in this manner, it is Swansea that have this ethos.

Therefore, they could have the most to gain from taking advantage of the demise of their Welsh rivals Cardiff to the Championship by making a move for Gary Medel.

Cardiff’s odds are 6/1 to go out with a bang by winning their final fixture of the season at home to Chelsea.

Although typically used in his more accustomed midfield role at Cardiff, at international level, the 26-year-old Chilean adapts to playing at centre half.

Players moving between the clubs is not such a rarity, with John Toshack potentially the most famous example, while current Cardiff captain Steven Caulker previously played for Swansea and Swans winger Wayne Routledge had a loan stint with the Bluebirds.

And given that Swansea have already conceded more goals this season than any of their previous pair in the Premier League, a case can be made that this is an area where Garry Monk needs to strengthen.

The consensus is that Medel will leave Cardiff for a return to La Liga this summer, but given his versatility and perfect fit into the Swansea system, Monk may want to monitor developments.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.