In the grand scheme of the Premier League, it was not foreseen that Swansea would survive their first season in the top flight after gaining promotion following a thrilling 4-2 play-off win over Reading in 2011. But here they still are, alive and kicking.
While they are facing a tough battle with relegation this season, they seem to be moving in the right direction following their attempt to turn the managerial job into a game of hot potato. Throughout their struggles though, they have had a number of very good players turn out for the Welsh side each week.
Fernando Llorente and Lukasz Fabianski spring to mind this season with some very good performances, while Gylfi Sigurdsson is surely a top half of the table player, sorry Swansea fans.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 17, 2017
But if the Swans were to magically reboot one player to come back and help the team now, who would it be? Wilfried Bony comes to mind, but he did not spend enough time or do enough to be considered a huge part of Swansea’s history, while magic-boots Lee Trundle was not ever tested at Premier League level.
This leaves two men, one of them being Sigurdsson who left and then returned like a loyal frisbee, with the other being Michu. The Spaniard was an odd kind of player. His gangly frame and long floppy hair made him look more akin to the beaches of Australia, but how he could play.
He was bought from Rayo Vallecano for a modest fee of £2 million following the departure of Sigurdsson to Tottenham. The Welsh side were desperate to find a player that could fill the role of the man behind the striker, so, naturally, he was played at striker.
His first few weeks in the Premier League were a huge success as he scored four goals in his opening three games, meaning that the Swansea man was top of the scoring charts.
He ended the year with 19 goals in all competitions, a mammoth total for a club that has been continually touted as one that would struggle in the top flight. Michu was showing signs of real talent and it had other Premier League clubs supposedly sitting up and taking notice.
One such side was Arsenal, to whom Michu did this in the ring seconds of their game:
— Punters Lounge (@punterslounge) November 9, 2015
What will really stand out for the Welsh fans though, is his penchant for scoring in cup competitions. In Swansea’s controversial 2-0 win over Chelsea, in which Eden Hazard was sent of for kicking a ball boy that is probably still rolling around on the floor, Michu scored to take the tie away from the Blues.
He then went one better as, in the Swans’ 5-0 League Cup Final win over Bradford, he netted the second goal, thus calming any lingering nerves. His goals were a huge reason as to why Swansea were able to win the League Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
En 2013, un equipo de 4ª división llegaba a la final por 1ª vez desde 1962. El Bradford caía 5-0 contra el Swansea. Michu anotó el 2º gol. pic.twitter.com/CKDUETOFWX
— Álvaro Ramírez (@TheRebelDelgado) February 25, 2017
As if this wasn’t enough, the forward netted two goals in the Europa League qualifying rounds as Swansea made it to the group-stage, a superb achievement on the part of the Welsh side.
His time with Swansea however, was cut short. His situation left many fans scratching their heads, and rightly so. From their top scorer the season before to loaned out to Italian side Napoli, Michu’s rise and fall was incredibly rapid.
While his escape from the club was a confusing one, Michu left a lasting memory of goals and a League Cup win. In the current squad, it would be an interesting battle between himself and Llorente, with the latter very strong and able to hold the ball up, with the Swans continually benefitting from his aerial ability.
Michu on the other hand provides a threat with his passing ability and the fact he is happy to drop in and be a part of building up a move, while he, like Llorente, was also a deadly finisher. The pair together would seemingly a very effetive partnership.
Swansea have found the net just 36 times in 29 Premier League games, a tally which has seen them struggle hugely this term. Llorente has helped to ease this problem scoring often, but he is in desperate need of some support, something Michu would be able to offer.
His ability to start, or come off the bench would give the opposition defenders a completely different challenge, with his ability to play both in front of, and behind the line of defenders hugely difficult to deal with.
If Michu were able to return and find the same kind of form that he was showing in 2012, then the Welsh side would not have any sort of relegation worries.