Swansea City are second on the table, and Michu is a big reason why.
The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder has made an immediate impact in the English Premier League, and he has the Swans looking like the class of the league. Considering this is the Welsh side's second year removed from the Championship, Michu has clearly made quite the impression.
Note: Michu's history and statistics will be taken from his profile on Swanseacity.net.
Michu was born Miguel Perez Cuesta in Oviedo, Spain, a capital city in the northern part of the country. He began playing football for the local club, Real Oviedo, before moving to Celta de Vigo B in Segundo Division B in Spain.
After four seasons in Spain's second division, Michu signed a two-year deal at Rayo Vallecano, ready for top-flight football.
One Year in Spanish Top Flight
At 25 years old, Michu was ready to make an impact at the top level. Even though it was his first season at Rayo, it was clear that he was the best attacking player they had.
He ended up scoring 15 league goals, which was the ninth-best tally. Moreover, he was the highest-ranked midfielder of the bunch. His contribution was a huge reason Rayo stayed up, helping them to a dramatic 15th place finish.
After only one year at the club, though, English sides took notice of him, and Swansea City bought him in for £2 million.
Michu is an attacking midfielder who is opportunistic once he reaches the attacking third. His timing moving forward is a thing of beauty, and it's an intricate part to his success.
He has a knack for finding the goal that simply can't be taught. Most successful strikers have this ability, but Michu brings this unique skill to the midfield, and Swansea City have been reaping the benefits.
Along with his goal-scoring ability, Michu is a relentless worker. He tracks back when necessary, and he is all over the pitch moving forward. Given his size, it's intimidating to watch this man fly around the field.
Under Michael Laudrup, a great attacking midfielder in his own right, it's clear that Michu will thrive. Obviously, he won't continue netting goals at such a high rate, but he will create scoring opportunities on a regular basis, which is exactly what Swansea need.
Last year, they didn't have a consistent attacking threat. Now they have Michu. And the Swans are plenty satisfied with him.
Last year, the Swans were the feel-good story of the Premier League. They were a young, Welsh team that loved to play tika-taka and weren't afraid of the big boys. Once they lost their coach, it seemed inevitable that they would have a sophomore slump.
Led by Michu and a stiff defense, Swansea look like one of the best teams in the league. Granted, they beat two teams that will be battling to avoid relegation, but a plus-eight goal differential doesn't lie. The Swans are good, and they will battle for a spot in the top six, despite not looking like they belong.
It will be a fun season, and if Michu remains in form, he could keep Swansea hanging around a European qualifying spot.
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