Can Swansea City become a force in the Premier League?

After producing a complete performance in routing Malmo on Thursday night, Sports Mole assesses whether Swansea City can reproduce that form in the Premier League.

After witnessing Swansea City demolish Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday evening, it would be very easy for the expectancy level to rise at the Liberty Stadium.

But the question will undoubtedly be asked whether their comfortable success was down to poor opposition or down to a style of play that manager Michael Laudrup has introduced in South Wales.

Before yesterday's match, Malmo were being talked about as a team who could cut short Swansea's European dream after they thrashed Hibernian in the previous qualifying round.

But the Swedish side barely mustered a shot in anger during a torrid 90 minutes in which they were lucky to concede just the four goals to an efficient, effective Swansea side.

All eyes were on new acquisitions Wilfried Bony and Jordi Amat, but it was the performance of fellow newcomer Jonjo Shelvey that caught the eyes of the home supporters.

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup during the FA cup third round replay against Arsenal on January 16, 2013© PA Photos

At Liverpool the 21-year-old was never given the freedom to dictate play in the middle of the park, but he flourished in that role against Malmo, playing with a confidence rarely seen at Anfield.

His partnership with Leon Britton already looks like one that can prosper, and with Jonathan de Guzman and Jose Canas waiting in the wings, the Swans have a midfield quartet that can have the desired impact in the Premier League.

Further forward, Bony weighed in with his first two goals in a Swansea shirt and gave the impression that they won't be the last.

The Ivory Coast frontman has undoubted power and strength, but it's the goals in and around the six-yard box that will make him a success at his new club.

It's still early days, but his link-up play with Michu displayed plenty of promise and one that is only going to improve with the more games that they play.

New Swansea signing Wilfried Bony makes his debut against Reading on July 27, 2013© PA Photos

The interchanges were sharp, the movement off the ball had intent and they had an understanding of each other's strengths. Laudrup would have been beaming in the dugout after their performance as a pair.

Critics will no doubt pour cold water on the idea of Swansea becoming a force at the top end of the Premier League table, but Laudrup's side are different to many of the other teams that usually occupy a mid-table position.

Swansea have their own style of play. Rather than waiting for their opponents to press them, they impose themselves on each match that they play. They hold no fear in playing their brand of football, whether it's at Old Trafford or Selhurst Park.

The Welsh club displayed enough quality on Thursday night to hint that they are more than capable of breaking into the top six this season.

That's a bold statement given the kind of teams that currently sit in those positions, but we have seen before that having top players does not necessarily result in a good team.

Swansea will not differ in their approach from last season when they finished in ninth position, and with their summer signings adding more pieces to the jigsaw at the Liberty Stadium, the scene is set for Swansea to gatecrash the top end of the table.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup grinning
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