Too late big clubs, you had your chance. Michu could have been playing somewhere else, but Swansea were wise enough to land the scoring midfielder, turning out to be one of the biggest bargains in the history of the Premier League.
After 15 goals in 37 league matches last season for Rayo Vallecano in Spain, Michu was offered to a couple of the bigger clubs in England, but that’s the problem sometimes with the elite clubs – they only go for big names or for wonderkids. Someone like Michu, who’s 26 and is playing for the smallest side in Madrid after a career that has mostly involved lower league clubs in Spain, just doesn’t fit the “Champions League” mold.
Half a season into his first Premier League career, it’s ridiculous to think Michu cost just £2 million. He has scored 13 goals in 20 league matches, adding three more in the Cup competitions. He has scored goals against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal this season. Michu began the season as one of the midfield trio, but the Swansea system is very fluid and flexible, and Miguel Pérez Cuesta soon found himself at the top of the pyramid.
The three most influential players in the league are all strikers, all the top scoring players this season: Robin van Persie for Manchester United, worth, in points, more than the lead his team currently has at the top of the table; Luis Suarez of Liverpool, making the difference from battling against relegation and still having European hopes; and Michu, turning Swansea into a success story for the second straight year.
Michael Laudrup has already said if anyone wants to get their hands on his best player, it’s going to be costly. Swansea did sell Joe Allen for £15 million, which seems to be like one of the worst signings of the season, although that will turn out to be true only after a few years. Michu would cost, I’m guessing, at least £7-10 million more.
Right now, it’s not even an issue. Michu is happy with his team, who are playing a style that’s the closest to what he’s used to from Spain, with a patient passing game, waiting for a chance to take advantage of some breach in the defense. Maybe it’s just some one-season wonder, or maybe he’s a “system” player, just like some are at Manchester United. Whatever the reason is, he’s the biggest surprise of the Premier League season, and not someone who Swansea are going to easily let go of.