Swansea City’s reputation as hotbed of managerial talent continues to swell, with centre-half stalwart turned dugout dweller Garry Monk the latest to earn plaudits.
Having taken over in February in the aftermath of Michael Laudrup’s sacking last term, Monk has shone in 2014/15, guiding the club to their best ever Premier League points total with six games still to play.
That he has done so despite losing first-team regulars Michel Vorm, Chico Flores, Ben Davies and Michu in the autumn transfer window and Wilfried Bony in January merely adds a greater lustre to his achievements.
Monk’s work at the Liberty has not gone unnoticed by West Ham who, according to a Daily Star exclusive, are interested in bringing the Swans’ gaffer in should they decide to part company with Sam Allardyce this summer.
The 36-year-old, in his first job in management, is 33/1 to be next Irons manager, with his low wages and lower release clause thought to make him an especially attractive candidate.
Monk would certainly not have been the first manager to carve a reputation for himself at the Liberty Stadium before departing for a bigger club as this list of recent luminaries confirms…
Roberto Martinez (2007-09)
Credited with bringing about the change in footballing philosophy that latterly saw the Swans embarrassing Premier League foes with Barcelona style possession play.
A survival specialist and unlikely FA Cup winner at next club Wigan, the Spaniard led Everton to fifth in the Premier League and Europa League qualification last term.
Paulo Sousa (2009-10)
Despite enduring average spells at QPR and Leicester either side of his short Liberty Stadium tenure he led the club to their highest league finish in 27 years.
Since departing south Wales he has guided Videoton to Champions League qualification and three domestic trophies, won the Israeli Premier League with Maccabi Tel Aviv and is closing in on a Swiss Premier League win with Basel.
Brendan Rodgers (2010-12)
Rodgers’ Swansea spell saw him transition from Mourinho prodigy hype manager to the real deal as he expanded on the Martinez blueprint to secure the promotion that had narrowly eluded Sousa.
Once there, his purist’s possession football won many admirers, subsequent employers Liverpool among them, as he kept a side including the dubious goal threat of Danny Graham afloat.
Michael Laudrup (2012-14)
Laudrup tweaked the Martinez/Rodgers blueprint in a similar manner to the tiki-taka evolution affected by FC Bayern Munchen’s Champions League winners.
A more direct element gave the side a new level of threat that ultimately culminated in the first major trophy of the club’s history.
Linked with coveted hotseats such as Real Madrid at his south Wales high watermark, his eventual move to Qatar came out of left-field, but has already yielded the 2014/15 Qatar Stars League title.