With just over a week to the kick off for the Premier League Season I thought it would be fair to write about one of the hottest properties in European Soccer and one who created a bit of a storm last season for an astounding price.
"Hey I just Michu and this is crazy, but heres the ball, so score my baby" was a tune sung from the terraces at the Liberty stadium for their new cult hero Michu. When Michu arrived on these shores he was unheard of. Playing for mid table Spanish sides the 2 million pounds arrival went unnoticed below the radar while all the attention was on the usual big clubs. Michael Laudrup, Swansea's manager knows all about Spanish clubs after playing and managing in the country so it should not have been much of a surprise when Michu turned into gold.
A career that started at Oviedo progressed to Celta Vigo where his goal return per games ratio was not to be honest "great". His luck changed upon his move Rayo Vallecano banging 15 goals in 37 games. Not too bad in the Primera League of Spain where everyone competes for 3rd place behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. Laudrup had obviously spotted Michu when working as Mallorca boss in 2011 and subsequently as a pundit for Spanish TV, and when the opportunity arose for the Spaniard, the Dane, Laudrup swooped with a bargain buy.
Michu was described last season by a pundit as a "Premier League player at Poundland Prices" it certainly is value to say the least. Michu scored on his debut, the 5-0 hammering of QPR at Loftus Road. One goal superbly taken from the edge of the box. He and Scott Sinclair (who later left for Manchester City) shone that day. Many people tipped Swansea to struggle after Brendan Rodgers had left for Liverpool, but the were wrong. Seriously Wrong.
Michu was on fire, scoring goals all over, he netted in a 3-0 win over West Ham and then in a 2-2 draw against Sunderland. He kept on scoring, and helped The Swans beat Chelsea over 2 legs in the League Cup to reach Wembley. Swansea went on to win their 1st piece of silverware this year in their history. The thrashing of Bradford meant a easy cup final for The Swans. In just 10 years Swansea had progressed from struggling to stay alive in the bottom league to a new stadium and cup glory. Swansea had also qualified for Europe. They played and won their 1st leg qualifier against Malmo of Sweeden, and no surprises who scored, yes Michu in a 4-0 win.
Michu also picked up, two awards of Supporters Player of the Year and Club Player of the Year. He also was granted a place in the team of the year selected from all Premier League Clubs. Such awards and accolades for someone who joined for a fee of 2 million pounds is unheard of, but Michu is living proof of what talent is out there if you look in the right places. Michu described last season as incredible, hes not wrong is he?
So, what does the future hold for this season? Michu has to prove he is not a one season wonder. If Swansea can provide him with service in the box he should score. The experience of playing in the Europa League could be a good one for Swansea so long as they balance out the League and European form that so many clubs struggle with these days. Hopefully, Michu can continue his form in Europe and cement his reputation further. If he does it could prove to be another successful campaign for Swansea and they may even be worth a cheeky each way bet for the Europa League if the draw falls nicely for them.
I am surprised that there has not been too much interest in acquiring Michu's services this season. If he had been prolific for 2 seasons no doubt a massive club would have made an offer. For the bargain fee of 2 million, Michu's value now is most likely in the range of 10-15 million. A good season and he could be worth over 25 million. That's the figure Darren Bent had paid for him taking him to Aston Villa from Sunderland, but at his rate he would have had more clubs than Tiger Woods if he carries on like the way he is. It would be some profit for Swansea the day Michu leaves. Hopefully for their sake he will be around much longer, and with their brand of football, and overall how the club is run by the fans they deserve every penny.
Are you a Swansea fan? Do you dread the day Michu may leave? What do you expect from Michu this season. Tweet me @01clewsy, find me on Facebook Michael Clews or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear anyones thoughts on any football matters in the upcoming season.