Erik Larsen believes a warm Welsh welcome will allow new Spanish signings Chico and Michu to settle quickly into life in the Premier League.
Chico arrived earlier this month at the Liberty following a switch from Italian club Genoa while Michu linked up with his new team-mates at Heathrow Airport hours before the squad jetted off for the tour in America.
Both players are working on developing their English to help them communicate on and off the pitch as they settle into their new surroundings.
But assistant-boss Larsen, who worked with Chico at Mallorca during his time as Michael Laudrup’s No. 2 at the Iberostar Stadium, feels the reception both players have received will help them fulfill their potential in South Wales.
“They are very eager to show they are good players,” said Larsen. “It’s always the same in football – what you did yesterday doesn’t count for tomorrow.
“They are hungry and they’re keen to show why we brought them here.
“We have to give credit to the club and squad though. We have discovered that everyone is so friendly to the new players coming here, and they want to help them as much as possible.”
Larsen’s role as assistant to Laudrup also involves responsibility in looking at potential signings. Having played a big part in the arrivals of Chico, Michu and loan signing Jonathan de Guzman – all having La Liga experience – Larsen believes the Swans will benefit greatly from the Spanish market.
“At the moment there is a lot of quality for little money in Spain because of the financial crisis there.,” said Larsen, who has also worked under Laudrup at Brondby, Getafe and Spartak Moscow.
“But it’s not only a question of what we see and want, it is about how the club sees things too.
“We have to be careful in how we balance the team and how many foreigners and local boys we have. Everyone will love it if we could have a lot of local boys – I’m sure the fans would appreciate it if we could achieve that.
“It’s free to look, but expensive to shop (in the British market).”
As for the tour so far, Larsen admits the management have gained a lot from their time in America.
The Swans have played two games against Colorado Rapids and Ventura County Fusion, with the final game of the 12-day tour coming against San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night.
He added: “We have been to different locations with very good conditions for training.
“Every day we see the boys training well and they are really into it – they want to make a difference. They have worked very hard.
“We have learned things, but hopefully we won’t finish learning. We want to learn more about the players and the team.
“It has been great preparation, but we have plenty more to do.”
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