When Swansea City announced the signing of Miguel Perez Cuesta from Spanish strugglers Rayo Vallecano in July last year, it barely caused a ripple in English football.
At £2 million, many will have presumed that Michu – as he is better known – was simply another journeyman. But the forward is now established as one of the Premier League’s most lethal finishers, scoring 16 goals in all competitions this season, and is in line for a call-up by world and European champions Spain for the 6 February friendly against Uruguay.
He is, unsurprisingly, being linked with a big summer move but he won’t be easy to prise away. “We all know the situation, the economic situation in the world, so there really aren’t that many clubs who can buy him,” Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said. “There are some here [in England], in Spain, there are only two [Barcelona and Real Madrid]. Italy? I don’t think so. They’re trying to sell. Bayern Munich in Germany. So only a few, few clubs.”
Considering the 26-year-old was a sensation in Spain last season, scoring 15 goals to help Rayo avoid relegation on the last day of the season, the big clubs missed an absolute bargain and it highlighted blindspots in their scouting departments.
Michu is now the main man as Swansea continue to impress in the Premier League while they are closing in on a place in the League Cup final after the Spaniard scored again in Wednesday night’s 2-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of the semi-finals.
Michu started out playing for home-town club Real Oviedo in 2006-07 and then spent four years with Celta Vigo. Rayo had him for just one season, before Swansea got him at a knockdown fee. “What he is doing is incredible,” said Laudrup.